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Still perfect

Saugus remains atop the Foothill League

Posted: January 23, 2009 11:13 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus' Nicole Hicks (23) drives on Canyon's Ariel Hale (23) Friday at Canyon High.

 
Saugus girls basketball continued its winning ways Friday at Canyon, maintaining its perfect run in the Foothill League with a 62-49 win.

Nicole Hicks led the way for the Centurions (11-9, 4-0) with 25 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter.

“We had a really solid effort from everyone on the floor today,” said Saugus head coach Kent Eaton. “There were five reasons that we won on the floor at all times tonight.”

Those reasons were whichever five players he had on the floor, crediting his whole team’s complete effort for the win.

Hicks also keyed the offense in the first quarter, dropping 10 points as Saugus jumped out to a 15-9 lead.

Canyon (3-17, 2-2) hung through the first half thanks to the sharp shooting of sophomore guard Layna White, who dropped a dozen before the midway point to keep the Cowboys within seven at the break.

“We didn’t play as well as we could have tonight,” said Canyon junior point guard Brooke Lemar. “We just have to find a way to get back what we had going.”

Canyon did get its game going in the third period when the Cowboys limited Saugus to eight points. The Centurions also turned in a solid defensive effort in the third, maintaining a 38-33 heading into the final eight minutes.

“Canyon is a tough team,” Eaton said. “The main key for us tonight was playing defense. I thought Amanda (Scholl) did a great job on the defensive end of the floor, and the girls really worked hard defensively.”

Saugus’ relentless defense wore down the Cowboys in the fourth quarter as the Centurions pulled away. Gabby Conn helped ice the game by making five of six free throws down the stretch to finish with 17 points.

“We couldn’t quite maintain the level of defense we needed to catch up to them,” said Lemar, who poured in 19 points. “We have to find a way to regroup and stay focused on both ends of the floor.”

Lemar had no trouble staying focused on the offensive end in the fourth quarter. She hit a pair of 3s, while tallying 11 points in the final frame.

But Canyon had no answer for Conn and Hicks as the Centurions pulled away.

“Our offense is functioning really well right now,” Eaton said. “Most importantly, the girls are having fun out there, which makes everything easier.”

Saugus will look to keep winning Tuesday at Hart, while Canyon will attempt to get back over the .500 mark in Foothill League play at Valencia.

“Right now we’re really dedicated to playing good basketball and just doing what we want to do,” Eaton said. “If we play like we did tonight then we’ll be in good shape.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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