West Linn wins at Canby in battle of Three Rivers League unbeatens
Feeding off a packed home gym, Canby had all the momentum in the first half of its Three Rivers League battle with West Linn.
"We came out with a lot of energy," Canby senior Diego Arredondo said. "We just outplayed them. We got them passive. We were attacking real hard, finding shooters. Everything was just going our way."
But everything went the Lions way in the second half as West Linn overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to give the Cougars their first TRL loss, 61-49, Friday.
Micah Garrett led the comeback. After not scoring at all in the first half, the senior guard had 17 points in the second.
"I felt like I wasn't as aggressive as I should've been," Garrett said. "I had to pick it up. We just had to come out with more energy. We were kind of sleepwalking in the first half."
The Lions entered Friday's contest averaging 92 points per game in Three Rivers League play. But Canby led 28-14 late in the first half.
While Garrett did not score in the first 16 minutes, freshman sensation Jackson Shelstad did not get his first basket until under a minute remaining in the second quarter to get West Linn within 28-18 at intermission.
"They've got scorers everywhere," Canby coach Craig Evans said of West Linn. "We knew that going in so we just said play solid team defense. I thought we did a great job in the first half. We closed off passing lanes. We closed off driving lanes. We took a charge."
But the Lions began to get on a roll in the third quarter, feeding off a string of Canby turnovers to get quickly get within 28-26.
"We weren't executing our press break," Evans said. "We were standing around waiting for Chance (Miller) to try to get the ball up the floor instead of just running our offense and attacking pressure."
Riley Knuston gave the Cougars a spark off the bench, scoring five points to hold off West Linn momentarily.
But a 3-pointer by West Linn senior Colton Young gave the Lions a 34-33 lead with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
"During halftime we said we can't lose this game and we came out and played hard," said Young. "That's one of the greatest atmospheres I've played in, some nerves maybe. We got over it and played hard in the end."
After West Linn expanded its lead to 38-33, Canby sophomore Alexander Evans buried a 3-pointer.
The Lions then missed two free throws, but Gus Michelson scored on a putback and Shelstad, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, added a steal and layup to give West Linn a 42-36 lead with 5:45 remaining.
Arredondo, who finished with a game-high 18 points, knocked down two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, but the Cougars could not slow down West Linn's offense.
"We were complacent," Arredondo said of the second half. "We were happy that we were up 10. We came out flat, too comfortable, energy was low, and we missed shots we normally make. We need to play a full game. We only played half a game. It was a great half a game, but we came out in the second half and we just weren't there. We weren't the same team as the first half."
While both teams entered the game 3-0 in league play, Garrett said West Linn might have overlooked Canby, which only won two league games all of last season.
"They showed us what's up," Garrett said of the Cougars. "They gave us a good game and they're a good team. We just can't start off lazy in the first half. We can't underestimate any team. We've got to come out hard every game."
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