After an impressive 6-3 non-league start to the Canby Cougars girls basketball season, first-year head coach Ingrid McCoy had staked her reputation on one thing: stingy defense.
The Cougars utilized the press and active hands to force turnovers and stymie offense; through their first nine games, Canby had allowed more than 50 points only once and held opponents under 38 points five times.
But against a dynamic St. Mary’s Academy (5-4, 1-0 TRL) offense on Wednesday, the Cougars’ (6-4, 0-1 TRL) defense faltered in their first Three Rivers League game. The Blues scored at will en route to a 75-49 victory in Canby.
The Cougs started out the first frame attacking the inside strong, as RayAnne Schedler and Mallory Block scored first to open up a 4-0 lead. Canby hung with the Blues for the first five minutes of the game, trailing only 12-10 with 3:23 left before the floodgates opened.
St. Mary’s scored at will at the end of the first period, earning a bucket on seven straight possessions. Blues point guard Abby Graham, a senior who has been named a McDonald’s All-American Nominee, flawlessly dissected the Cougars’ once-vaulted D as she commanded the Blues to a massive 31-8 run. At the half, the visitors led 47-24.
The second half played out similarly, as St. Mary’s built a 30-point lead in their 75-49 win. While their 48-point effort on Wednesday was the fourth-highest offensive output for the Cougars, the 75 points were by far the most points Canby had allowed all year.
McKenna Kraft led the Cougars with 15 points and three steals on the night, while post MaKayla Ford had 5 assists.
With the Tigard-Tualatin School District shifting all classes to online learning, the girls’ Friday night matchup (along with the boys) against Tualatin was postponed to February 23rd. The postponement allowed the girls more time to recoup and practice.
“We really focused on keeping our spirits up and taking one day at a time,” McCoy told the Current. “It’s hard to have games canceled and the possibility that it could continue to happen. We will practice through it, and keep moving forward as a team.”
Health and safety permitting, the Cougars will continue their TRL schedule with away games against Lake Oswego and Lakeridge. Tuesday’s Lake Oswego matchup is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
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