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Prep girls hoops: The Cowboys’ three spree

Canyon's Vittallo hits seven 3-pointers

Posted: February 16, 2013 10:28 p.m.
Updated: February 16, 2013 10:28 p.m.

Channel Islands Frances Dominquez (20) fouls Canyon's Jaya Schultz (21) on Saturday night at Canyon.

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Led by Kali Vittallo, the No. 6 seeded Canyon Cowboys girls basketball team defeated the Channel Islands Raiders 75-44 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs Saturday at Canyon High School.

Vittallo dropped in a career high 30 points, including a Canyon girls single-game record of seven 3-pointers, as the co-Foothill League champions led from start to finish to improve its winning streak to eight games.

“We just wanted to do better in CIF than we did last year, and get this first game out of the way,” Vittallo said. “I hit my first 3-pointer in the second half, and I knew I had my rhythm. I just wanted to keep it going.”

Alia McCoy and Jaya Schultz were also big contributors for Canyon as they scored 21 and 20 points, respectively.

The trio of Vittallo, McCoy, and Schultz scored all but four of the team’s 75 points in the game.

“There all big players, and they do a nice job looking for each other,” said Canyon head coach Chuck Johns.

The Cowboys (23-4) started hot as they opened the game on a 12-0 run.

Vittallo knocked down three from long range in the first quarter and the Cowboys led 17-4 after the period.

However, ball security was an issue for both teams as they combined for 13 turnovers in the opening quarter.
In total, Canyon committed 19 turnovers, but induced Channel Islands into 26.

“If we just continue to play fundamentally sound, we’ll be OK,” Johns said. “We can’t have mental lapses where we give away possessions because we’re not focused on our task.”

In the second quarter, Schultz became more aggressive offensively.

The senior guard dropped in eight points in the period, and twice used the dribble-drive in the key to find a wide-open McCoy for layups.

“I was thinking I needed to drive to the basket to get people to come up,” Schultz said. “I’m trying to see the floor better and get my teammates more involved.”

Canyon led 32-18 at halftime.

The Raiders (20-6) cut the deficit to 32-22 in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but Vittallo answered with her fourth 3-pointer to push the lead back to 13.

The long-range bucket sparked a 17-6 scoring run, and the Cowboys controlled a 52-35 advantage after three.

“We shot the ball well and found each other in certain spots where we could be successful,” Johns said on his team’s performance.

Canyon outscored Channel Islands 23-9 in the final period, setting the final score.

With the win, the Cowboys advance to the second round of the Div. IIAA playoffs.

Canyon will travel to play the winner of Eisenhower and Kaiser on Wednesday.

The Cowboys are making a bid for their fourth straight quarterfinals appearance.

A victory in the next round would put Canyon at that stage.

But there are things the Cowboys know they need to work on to get to that place.

“We really need to focus on defense, and stopping the ball quicker,” Schultz said on what’s needed for the Cowboys to make it deep into the postseason. “The offense will come, but defense still needs a little work.”



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