Watchmen boys team holds on late for victories over Glendale and Paisley over the weekend

CANYONVILLE — The C.S. Lewis Academy boys basketball team bounced back from a season-opening loss to Eddyville Charter by winning the Canyonville Christian Academy Tournament Friday and Saturday, but had to endure two harrowing finishes to do it.

The Watchmen have just six players on the roster this year and had two of them foul out in the second half in the 54-44 loss to the Eagles, forcing them to finish the game with just four.

C.S. Lewis looked like a different team over the weekend, jumping out to big leads before withstanding furious comebacks in the final minute to beat Glendale 47-44 and Paisley 60-57.

"It was a good trip even with the late-game collapses, you could say," CSLA coach Brett Vernon said. "But we held on for dear life and got it done. There were a lot of good things and we're getting better every day and that's what we saw from the Eddyville game to Glendale to Paisley. They're learning how to win and that's tough to do sometimes."

Junior Micah Grobey has led the Watchmen in scoring all three contests this season, including a 23-point effort against Eddyville Charter that also saw him grab 11 rebounds and five steals. Freshman point guard Dylan Stroup added 10 points, 11 rebounds and four steals in the loss.

Even though CSLA dropped to four players, the Eagles had already taken control of the game, outscoring the Watchmen 24-10 in the third quarter to go up 45-35.

"They played a really good third quarter on top of the fouling out," Vernon said. "We came out kind of lackadaisical, trying not to foul, and it hurt us big time."

It was C.S. Lewis that had the big third quarter Friday, outscoring Glendale 15-8 to stake a 39-30 lead. The Watchmen were up 10 points with 90 seconds remaining in the fourth, but a sloppy finish against the Pirates' full-court press helped whittle the lead away.

"We missed a layup, missed a free throw, turned it over," Vernon said of the closing stretch. "It's funny because both games were exactly the same way: We were up by a lot and they came back in the last minute of the game. We're still trying to learn how to beat a press and control the ball late."

Grobey finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds, then posted 23 points and seven rebounds in the win over Paisley.

This time, CSLA led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before the Broncos rallied, scoring 37 of their 57 points in the final 11:30 of the second half.

"It was a combination of not doing our assignments on defense, turning the ball over and just missing shots," Vernon said. "We had tired legs, too. For anyone to have back to back (games) is tough enough, but when you've got six guys playing, it's even tougher, but we held on."

Stroup had another strong game for the Watchmen, finishing with nine points, five assists and six steals.

"He's averaging five assists, which at any level is great," Vernon said. "As a freshman playing varsity basketball, it's amazing. I think our leading assist guy the last two or three years was maybe three. He's also averaging close to five steals; just a very good athlete."

C.S. Lewis (2-1) will play its first five games of the season on the road, including a contest at Portland Waldorf on Thursday, and 10 of its first 13 games away from Newberg. The Watchmen will play their first home game Friday in a rematch versus Eddyville Charter at 5:30 p.m.

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