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While the boys’ contribution to Pack the Gym Night boasted more than its fair-share of last-second fireworks, the girls’ wire-to-wire victory — while less exciting — was arguably far more impressive.
Canby (11-8, 4-5 Three Rivers League) treated the Cougar faithful to a good, old-fashioned beatdown of visiting Lake Oswego 47-29 (4-14, 0-10 TRL) in a game where they never trailed. It’s the second straight dominant win for the Cougars, who also blasted by McKay in a truly impressive blowout earlier in the week.
As has been the case all season, the Cougar defense led the way for coach Ingrid McCoy.
“We’ve been gambling a bit more in our press,” McCoy told the Current. “They’re reading things a little bit more. We’re getting better traps and we’re causing more turnovers and getting some things in transition.”
It certainly was the case against McKay (4-15) on Wednesday. In a non-league makeup game against the Royal Scots, Canby jumped out to an absurd 31-0 lead at halftime.
Yes, you read that right. At one point, the Cougs were leading 37-1 before McKay finally hit a field goal, and Canby coasted to a 47-13 clobbering.
On Pack the Gym Night, Canby may not have held Lake Oswego scoreless for more than two quarters,but the Lakers did struggle to find the hoop. The Lakers, who scored only 13 points in their previous meeting against the Cougars, put up eight points in the first quarter before Canby locked them down. Lake Oswego would score only eight more points over the next 15 minutes.
Offensively, Canby came out hot. Nearly half of the Cougars’ 47 points came in the first quarter, as the offense hummed en route to a 22-point first-quarter performance. Inside attacks from Mallory Block and MaKayla Ford lead to early free throws; the Cougars would hit seven free throws in the first quarter alone.
Free throws may have helped, but Allie Mead was the main force for the Cougars in the first. Mead put up 11 points in the first quarter, and her driving abilities forced the Lakers into a zone look for the remainder of the game.
The Laker zone was able to slow down the Cougar offense, holding them to only 25 points for the remainder of the game after the 22-point first, but Canby remained comfortably in front.
Even when Lake Oswego embarked on a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter, the Cougars recovered well and remained in front by 15.
With the victory never in doubt, fans’ interests turned toward the game’s promotional outcome: If the Cougar girls hit 45 points on the night, the entire student section was going home with coupons for free cheesy garlic bread from Odd Moe’s Pizza.
So when RayAnne Schedler knocked down a mid-range jumper to give Canby a 45-29 lead, the Cougar crowd erupted louder than they had all game, cheering for the home team — and also for free cheesy bread.
That kind of fun, intoxicating atmosphere is what impressed McCoy in her first Pack the Gym Night as head coach.
“Everybody has talked about Pack the Gym since I came here,” McCoy said. “The energy, the band, the amount of kids, it was just a lot of fun.”
Mead led the Cougars with 16 points on the night, while Schedler was next in line with nine points. Gia Pacioni was the leading scorer for the Lakers with 12.
The win for the Cougars keeps them in the thick of playoff contention; as it stands now, Canby is No. 27 in the state — with the top 32 teams in the state qualifying for the postseason.
Canby will look to continue their defensive winning ways as they take on Lakeridge and West Linn.
Though they may have lost to the both squads earlier in the year, Canby has won four of five games and is looking as confident as ever.
Tip-off for Tuesday’s home game against Lakeridge is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
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