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Prep basketball:Canyon’s comfort

Tournament host Cowboys put their efficient offensive game on display

Posted: December 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Canyon center Devin Baldwin (20) rises up to take a shot over Lancaster defender Brown Kirone on Wednesday in the first round of the Canyon Classic tournament at Canyon High School. Canyon won the game 63-48.

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Canyon boys basketball was in its comfort zone on Wednesday night in the opening game of its own Canyon Classic tournament.

The Cowboys inside-out offense and high-pressure defense overmatched Lancaster in a 63-48 play-in game victory at Canyon High School.

Dean Hendrix-Davis showed how comfortable he is with his back to the basket, scoring a game-high 18 points, mostly in the post, and getting Canyon off on the right foot with eight points in the first quarter.

“Dean is everything. He can play with his back to the basket. He can spot up. He gives us everything,” said Canyon head coach Sean DeLong.

The Cowboys (4-1) pressured the Eagles from the start, forcing 18 turnovers on the night, including six in the first quarter that helped Canyon open up a 19-10 lead after the opening frame.

“They were a very good shooting team and played great defensively,” said Lancaster head coach Sidney Melvin. “At times we played well. And at times we had mental lapses. Give (Canyon’s) defense some of the credit.”

With Hendrix-Davis continually finding the soft spot in the middle of the zone, Canyon’s perimeter players began to get more open looks as the defense tightened around the post player.

Ben Taufahema was the main beneficiary, scoring 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including three 3-point baskets.

The Cowboys combined for eight 3-pointers in the game.

“We were able to go high-low and face up and attack, but still distribute,” Hendrix-Davis said.

Marc Cabrera added 12 points, Matthew Edwards had six, and Carlos Garcia scored five for Canyon.

For Lancaster (2-1), Tejon Williams led the way with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Brown Kirone added six, and Deharn Connor scored four.

The Eagles were able to pull within eight points, at 26-18, in the second quarter. But an 8-0 Canyon run pushed the lead to double digits for good, with Canyon taking a 36-23 lead into halftime. The run started as the Cowboys upped the pace late in the second to extend their lead.

“Lancaster has always been athletic and that’s what they showed today,” Hendrix-Davis said. “We had to bring it on defense and really make them work hard defensively.”

Canyon continued to work hard on the offensive end in the second half, matching Lancaster point-for-point and eventually extending its lead to 52-36 entering the final frame.

Canyon now advances to play St. Genevieve today at 7:30 p.m. at Canyon High in a first-round matchup.


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