Canby very nearly pulled one over on Three Rivers League (TRL) foe Tualatin on the road, but it was not meant to be. The Cougars came up short against the Timberwolves 71-66 on Tuesday, Feb. 8, to fall to 2-4 in the TRL.
It's the second game in a row the Cougars tasted defeat in back-to-back contests, also falling to Tigard (12-5, 4-2 in TRL) 60-58 on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
Canby was led by senior Payton Meyers with 21 points, followed closely by fellow seniors Kellan Oakes and Dominik Pepper with 17 and 13, respectively.
According to Canby coach Craig Evans, the defeat wasn't a total loss.
"My philosophy is that we're either winning or we're learning," Evans said. "This is another learning experience, that when you get a lead against the top team in the state, you have to execute. You can't give them the momentum back. You have to take it and keep jabbing away and eventually get the knockout."
Canby fell behind early, starting the game down 9-0 before finally finding its stride. The Cougars rallied to finish out the first quarter 23-19 thanks to seven points from Meyers, and four points each from Pepper, Oakes and senior Jacob Strand.
In the second quarter the Cougars were never more than three points away from the home team, but Tualatin always kept the lead. Another six points from Canby's Meyers in the second eight minutes put the Cougars within striking distance, but Canby finished the half down 38-35.
The third quarter was Canby's best. Canby briefly took a one-point lead when Oakes hit a 2-point basket to give the team the edge 47-46. Tualatin didn't let the lead stand for long, taking the lead back and finishing the quarter up 50-47.
"We had that one-point lead, and then we turned the ball over twice in a row, then that second it gave them the momentum and I think our guys started pressing a little bit more at that point," Coach Evans said. "We were never out of it, but it felt like it got out of our hands for a second."
The fourth quarter saw Canby struggle to hit baskets from the start. Tualatin went on a 12-4 run to start things and establish its largest lead since the first quarter to lead 62-51, and later 67-55. The Cougars finished strong down the stretch, but it was not enough as the Timberwolves finished on top 71-66.
Canby now sits at 2-4 in the TRL, and 11-8 overall. The team has a tough task ahead of it as it seeks to snap the skid as it takes on No. 16 ranked Lake Oswego (11-10, 6-2 in TRL) on Friday, Feb. 10.
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