Canby — The Canby train kept rolling on Friday following their big upset of #3 Mountainside on Tuesday 51-44, with the Cougars entering the match looking for their second straight victory over a quality opponent. For the Lady Saxons, they looked to get to a winning record following their win over Glencoe 58-30 on Tuesday, and dropping their season opener to South Eugene 52-42. Led by Hilary James and Victoria Stafford, the Lady Saxons looked to take down the Cougars with the deadly duo, but Canby had plans to contain the threat and it aided them to victory on Friday.
The Lady Saxons wasted no time getting on the board, opening up a 4-0 lead on buckets from James and Stafford. Canby responded with baskets by Nicole Mickelson and Ally Odell, knotting the game up at four apiece. After trading buckets, South Salem retook the lead courtesy of Stafford and Zoe Fry, allowing the Lady Saxons to lead 12-8 after one quarter.
Canby kicked off the second quarter by punching South Salem in the mouth, as Arika Evans, Naari Gomez, and Kayley Borntrager went on a 9-0 run to snatch the lead 17-12 over South Salem. The Lady Saxons ended the run on back to back buckets by James and Stafford, but the Cougars led 18-16 at the half over South Salem. Stafford led all scorers with eight points for South Salem, while Odell and Evans both had five points at the half for Canby.
The Cougars continued their defensive dominance in the third after the Lady Saxons tied it at 19 on a James trey, with Canby ripping off a 10-0 run to blow open a 29-19 lead midway in the third. After Fry ended the run with a basket, the teams traded runs the rest of the quarter but Canby still led 36-24 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, South Salem fought back after a Canby run kept the lead double digits in the final frame. With some buckets and free throws, the Lady Saxons were able to close within a one possession game, but Canby hit their free throws and hung on to take down South Salem 49-45 to pick up their second straight quality victory. Ally Odell led Canby with 14 points and Nicole Mickelson contributed 12 points. For South Salem, Victoria Stafford had 23 points, Hilary James chipped in 18 points.
With their second straight win, Canby Head Coach Chuck Knight and Nicole Mickelson discussed the victory, their preparation, and getting ready for Three Rivers League action.
Nicole Mickelson on the team mood, “Its good, we’re really excited, really positive, and a lot of confidence coming into the season, so its a really positive atmosphere.”
Coach Knight on bouncing back from Forest Grove, “I think the best thing was being able to bounce back from a tough, disappointing loss. I don’t think we played our best up at Forest Grove, and credit them they won the game. We said after that we need to get back to practice and get at it, its the only way you respond to a loss is to get back on the court and keep working.”
Nicole Mickelson on the defensive gameplan for South Salem, “We knew that they had a really good point guard, a really awesome post, and a great shooter in #30 (Gretchen Olsen) so we took care of her. We played together as a team, because we knew if we played one person defense we wouldn’t win, so we played together.”
Coach Knight on improvement before TRL play, “Mentally being prepared every game, not being too high or too low, that’s huge if you’re going to be successful through a 14 game league schedule. Taking care of the basketball, communicating defensively, rebounding, I mean everywhere we could get better, so I mean every day focusing in practice and making sure you’re getting better every day.”
Canby (2-1) hosts Newberg on Wednesday, South Salem (1-2) visits Barlow on Tuesday.