Basketball: Canby relies on defense to win fourth straight
Canby girls basketball coach Chuck Knight and senior point guard Naarai Gomez gave the same explanation for the Cougars' four-game winning streak — defense.
"We've been really emphasizing defense," Gomez said Tuesday after Canby's 46-29 Three Rivers League victory over Lakeridge. "Communication is our key and defense is going to win the game."
Holding the Pacers to just two points in the first quarter, Canby raced out to an 11-2 lead.
"We're taking a step defensively," Knight said. "We're really communicating and knowing our assignments. You see stretches now where it's really, really good defense. We just need to get a little more consistent. I think we're getting better defensively every game."
Freshman guard Allie Mead heated up in the second quarter, scoring nine points in the period to give the Cougars a 25-12 lead at halftime.
"She really started attacking the gaps in the zone and that was giving them trouble," Knight said of Mead.
Zoe Thompson led Canby with 14 points. Mead finished with 13 and Nicole Mickelson added eight points.
"We did a really good job of taking care of the ball," Gomez said. "We're moving the ball around really well and our shots are falling."
After Lakeridge cut Canby's lead to 33-23 early in the fourth quarter, Thompson buried two 3-pointers in the final four minutes to finish off the Pacers.
"We have really good momentum right now," Gomez said. "Our energy and our focus is really there. We're really playing together and we're really starting to connect on defense."
Canby has allowed just 31 points per game over its last four contests.
After a 2-3 start to Three Rivers League play, the Cougars have won four in a row to improve to 6-3.
"It's a tough league and every win you get in this league is earned," Knight said. "It's fun. It makes you be competitive every night."
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