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Prep boys hoops: Little doubt left

Harris’ 19 points helps West Ranch get past Canyon

Posted: January 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

A lot of things had to go right for Canyon boys basketball to defeat West Ranch on Friday night at Canyon High.

Like the Cowboys had to be efficient with the basketball and make the most of scoring opportunities.

Neither happened and West Ranch defeated Canyon 62-48 for its second straight road win to start Foothill League play.

Wildcats guard Kevin Harris was extremely efficient for the second straight game, scoring 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

The senior is shooting 74 percent from the field and averaging 18.5 points per game in Foothill League play.

But he pointed to his teammates as a major reason for the Wildcats’ victory on Friday.

“I think of us as a team now. The other guys might not be getting noticed, but at least they should be,” Harris said.

Nine different players scored for the Wildcats with point guard Ryan Beddeo chipping in all eight of his points in the first half.

Ako Kaluna scored 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting, but he had four first-half assists off double teams, creating easy buckets for his teammates.

Kaluna also blocked nine shots in the game.

It was going to be a chore for the Cowboys (11-7 overall, 1-1 in the Foothill League) to defeat West Ranch (12-4, 2-0), with a huge disparity in size and varsity experience.

But Canyon took it to West Ranch early and jumped on the Wildcats with an 8-3 lead, thanks to 3-pointers by Marc Cabrera and Park Mackenzie.

West Ranch grabbed the lead for good, though, at the 2:30 mark of the first quarter with a 3-pointer by Beddeo that made it 18-12.

If there were points where Canyon was going to get back in the game, it was at the start of the third and fourth quarters, when the Cowboys were still in striking distance.

Canyon trailed 38-26 heading into the third quarter, but in a blink, West Ranch extended the lead to 48-31.

In that four minute span, Canyon turned the ball over four times.

Canyon chipped away and went into the fourth quarter with a 52-41 deficit, but in another blink, it was 60-41 on a Kaluna dunk.

“I don’t have the exact number of turnovers, but you’re not going to beat the sisters of whatever with 20 turnovers,” said Canyon head coach Sean DeLong. “You can’t defend against turnovers.”

It was 18 turnovers.

Ben Taufahema led the Cowboys with 12 points, followed by Mark Bell’s 11.

Cabrera scored all of his seven points in the first quarter.

Taufahema and Cabrera have been the Cowboys’ top scoring options, but both combined to take just 19 shots in the game.

West Ranch had its own issues with 19 turnovers.

“I think if you talk to the team, it’s not just me saying this, yeah it’s a win, but we didn’t play to our potential,” said West Ranch head coach Shant Bicakci. “Half of that might have been Canyon, half might be us, but we can’t walk out of here saying we played our best.”

 

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