For a team that didn't get much preseason love within the state or even its own league, the Canby High boys basketball team produced an eye-opening first week of the 2021 season.
The Cougars opened with three preseason top-10 teams and got away with two wins and a double overtime loss.
As coach Craig Evans said, the Cougars "showed that we belong."
Canby opened with a 76-70 double overtime loss to Sherwood on May 17. Brian Bailey led the Cougars with 20 points and nine rebounds on the night, while Diego Arredondo added 19 points, and Alex Evans had a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
"It was a very tough opening game for the season playing Sherwood," Evans said.
Canby 40, Tualatin 39
In its next outing on May 19, the Canby hoopers would snag a league win over Tualatin, outlasting the Timberwolves 40-39.
"We came out and defended the very athletic Tualatin team and held them to 39 points," Evans said.
Arredondo had 13 points to lead the offense. Evans chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Ben Bailey added seven points and 10 boards.
While Tualatin was one of the league's picks to contend for the Three Rivers League title, the Cougars next opponent was, too.
Canby 58, Lake Oswego 52
The Lakers were another team expected to contend for league supremacy, and Evans noted the Cougars didn't get much love from other league coaches in preseason polls.
The Cougars are not a secret anymore after their Thursday night win.
"We used our toughness and determination to fend off the Lakers," Evans noted. "We were led by the hustle plays of Tyler Mead, who led the team in rebounds (nine) and steals (three).
Arredondo again led the offense, this time with 25 points. Tommy Ovchinikoff chipped in with 12 points for the Cougars (2-0 in league, 2-1 overall).
Up next for Canby is a Wednesday skirmish at Lakeridge, then West Linn visits on Friday.
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