The Canby girl’s basketball team picked up their first win on Friday night in a home tilt against the visiting North Salem Vikings. The Cougars (1-1) used a strong defense and efficient interior scoring to down the visiting Vikings (1-3).
New Cougar head coach Ingrid McCoy, who missed the girls’ season-opening loss to Nelson due to her own wedding, earned the win in her Canby coaching debut. McCoy’s squad, who had shot a chilly 24% from the field in their previous game, saw their baskets fall from the opening jump.
After managing only 36 points against Nelson the week prior, the Cougs were in double digits Friday after only four minutes of play.
Senior guard Allie Mead commanded the defense early on, forcing turnovers that lead to quick Canby points, while sophomore center Leah Smith converted on a trey in the back half of the first quarter. The Cougs led 13-9 at the end of the opening period.
The Vikings played in a 2-3 zone for the majority of the game, a defense that kept North Salem in the game for the first half. When in their half-court sets, the Cougars struggle to convert shots. Canby countered with a press that forced turnovers and led to several transition scores.
At the half, Canby was up 21-19 thanks to seven points from Smith.
North Salem hit a 3 with seven minutes left in the third quarter to give the Vikings their only lead of the game at 22-21. From there, the third was all Canby, with the Cougs using a massive 14-2 run to vault themselves ahead to a 43-29 lead at the end of the quarter.
Mead once again clogged the Vikings’ passing lanes, and Canby scored 22 points in the period.
“I thought we really settled down in the second half and showed a lot more patience and poise, which allowed us to get easy buckets,” McCoy told the Current afterward. “We were able to get good shots all night.”
The Vikings battled back to within eight points with five minutes remaining before a Harmony Davies putback sealed the win for Canby. The Cougar D would hold North Salem scoreless over the final four minutes of the game, and McCoy and her team earned the first win of the young season, 51-37.
Three different players — RayAnne Schedler, Allie Mead and Kayley Borntrager — tied for a team-high eight points in a balanced offensive game for the Cougars. Leah Smith set a new career-high with her seven points, all of which came in the first half.
McCoy saw the win as a big step forward for a team that won only five games in 2020, but not a step without flaws.
“We have a lot of room for improvement and need to take better care of the ball,” said McCoy. “We want to continue to play pressure defense and create fast-break opportunities. [There’s] a lot of good things to build on.”
The Cougars will travel to Lake Oswego for the Lake Oswego Shootout — the first of two tournaments during the high school’s winter break. While teams are still TBD, Canby’s first game of the Shootout is scheduled for Saturday, December 18 at 1 p.m.
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