On Tuesday night, the Canby boys basketball team led Lake Oswego, 47-46, with 5:45 remaining in the game. Unfortunately, a slew of turnovers and missed shots culminated in a 15-point Laker win. The tough loss marked the beginning of Three Rivers League play for the Cougars.
Rather than be discouraged, Canby (10-5, 1-1 TRL) flipped the script in their second league tilt with Lakeridge two days later, staging a comeback effort of their own and storming back from an early deficit to down the Pacers in convincing fashion, 65-44.
Tuesday’s road matchup against the Lakers (8-9, 3-1 TRL) was the Cougs’ first game in almost two weeks after their original TRL debut against Tualatin was postponed due to Covid. The game also marked the return of star point guard Alex Evans, who had missed the previous three games due to injury.
Evans came off of the bench for the first time in 30 games for the Cougars and made his impact immediately known by burying a 3. He would finish the game with eight points, five rebounds and three assists in limited action for Canby.
Meanwhile, high-flying senior wing Payton Meyers continued what has always been his No. 1 priority for the Cougars, getting buckets. Meyers scored 20 points on the night, most of which came in the first three quarters. Meyers noted how much the offense opened up with Evans on the floor.
“It’s amazing having Alex back,” Meyers told the Current. “His IQ for the game is something you can’t teach. He takes over the game by how smart he is and makes it a problem for teams having to guard that.”
But after taking the one-point lead with less than six minutes left, the Cougars went ice-cold, hitting only one more basket — a Meyers triple with seven seconds left and the game well out of reach.
Lake Oswego had outscored Canby 19-3 over the final five minutes and 25-9 in the fourth quarter. Max Archambo paced the Lakers with 18 on the night.
Two days later, Canby found themselves in a similar situation, this time at home against Lakeridge (4-10, 0-3 TRL). After falling down by seven points in the first quarter, Canby used a balanced attack to inch back to within one at halftime.
The game remained close before the Cougs gained their first lead of the game, 35-34, with 2:30 remaining in the third.
From that point on, the Cougs never looked back, outscoring the Pacers 27-10 in the final frame to take home a commanding 21-point win. Meyers dumped in 25 points, including an absurd 18 in the fourth quarter alone, including a spectacular alley-oop teed up by Evans.
“I just had to take over the game and came out with a lot more confidence in myself,” Meyers said. “[The alley-oop] felt amazing. I’ve been waiting all year for that and it was the knockout punch of the game.”
Evans didn’t hit a field goal in the game but still finished with four points, five rebounds and six assists. Senior big Jacob Strand finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Jace Swygard had 12 points to lead the Pacers.
The win allowed Canby to pick up their first win of the league season. Next up for Canby is a daunting home matchup against University of Oregon-commit Jackson Shelstad and the 9-1 West Linn Lions. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
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