The Cougars return three key seniors to lead the team toward playoff contention.

HERALD PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Cassidy Posey (senior) returns to the team for her fourth year on the varsity basketball team. The Cougars look to improve on their fifth place finish last year. The Canby girls basketball teams record for the 2016 season is deceptive. At face value, a 12-14 record overall might not look great, but the team was 8-8 in league play and in the top five a very competitive Three Rivers League. They were behind Tigard, West Linn, Sherwood, and tied in league play with St. Mary's Academy. They overcame a rough 3-8 start to finish out the rest of the season 9-6, culminating with a loss in the second round of the playoffs to state finalists Oregon City.

The Cougars graduated two seniors from last year, captains Cianne Cates and Mackenzie Lee. Returning to the fold though are 5'10 senior guard and wing Cassidy Posey, 5'9 senior point guard Hannah Myers, and 6'0 senior post Alice Lambert. All three players will be returning for their fourth consecutive year on varsity.

Head coach Chuck Knight elaborated on the accolades that the three will bring to the court.

"Posey was second team all-league last year, and Myers is signed to play at San Diego Christian next year," Knight said. "Lambert is a physical six footer, and a team leader."

The team is angling to be competitive against the best in the Three Rivers League this year, and with the returning crew, they ought to be right in the mix. Their success will be dependent upon coming together and playing as one unit, according to Knight.

"(The) key to our team (doing well) will be how quickly we can mesh under a new system and staying healthy," Knight said.

Looking forward at their competition is a lot like looking at last years season. It is a familiar cast of opponents and the same faces will more than likely be the hardest battles in the upcoming months.

"(We're in an) extremely competitive league," Knight said. "Every team is good so every game is going to be a battle. Tigard and West Linn are probably considered by most to be the favorites (to win the Three Rivers League)."

The Cougars girls basketball team starts off their season against South Salem in a home match on Dec. 5 at 6:45 p.m. The first league game will be against St. Mary's Academy on Dec. 13 at 6:45 p.m.

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