Taylor Jorgensen scores the go-ahead basket for the Cougars, who make key plays down the stretch to defeat the Foxes in preseason play.
A year ago, coach Brooke Cates said, the Canby girls basketball team wouldnt have been able to pull it off.
It trailed Silverton for most of the fourth quarter, its winning streak in jeopardy in a nonconference game that probably wouldnt win any awards for elegance.
But the Cougars showed poise with several clutch plays down the stretch, eking out a 41-38 comeback victory at home Jan. 3.
Canby (9-2) managed to earn its seventh-consecutive win, and it extended the impressive streak to eight games by defeating Keizer-McNary 56-45 at home the following evening. Four of the wins came by eight points or fewer.
These games are tough, and at some point youre going have a letdown, Cates said. We talked about this. We were nervous all day. We were coming off a tournament win, and you go through this. Thats basketball. (The Foxes) are well-coached, and theyre a tough team. We knew it was going be a tough one. It sure wasnt pretty, but well take it.
Junior guard Taylor Jorgensen scored the go-ahead basket with about 18 seconds remaining, her midrange jump shot from the left side of the floor giving the Cougars their first lead of the fourth quarter at 39-38.
Senior forward Rachel Erbe then sank two free throws after being fouled to push the lead to three, and Silvertons corner three-pointer before the buzzer was deflected by senior guard Bailey Raines.
Canby trailed by five points midway through the final period but finished the game on a 10-2 run.
We didnt play great, Cates said. But to find a way at the end to win a game, to make some good decisions down the stretch, is huge for us. None of (the girls) caved. Its a big win for us.
Erbe finished with a team-high 14 points after sitting out the finals of the Interstate Shootout tournament to recover from oral surgery.
Jorgensen added 11 points as she continues carving out an important role for the Cougars in her first season with significant varsity minutes.
She converted a three-point play, found Erbe with precise passes for two easy baskets and drained a short-corner jumper to bring the Cougars within one at the end of the third quarter.
Her final points came on a play that Cates said tabbed Erbe as the first option.
Taylor is one of those kids who has spent hours and hours and hours in the gym, Cates said. Shes one of our hardest workers, and its paying off for her. She is really becoming a good basketball player, so its fun to see her make big plays. Im not surprised at all. Shes a very heady basketball player. She knows the game inside and out.
Added Jorgensen: As soon as it left my hands, I was just hoping it was going in. It was a good pass by (senior guard Ashley Evans). The play was drawn up well to get somebody open.
Before Canby could pull ahead, of course, it had to deal with a 36-31 deficit in the final period.
Evans chipped into it with a three-pointer. After a steal and fast-break layup by Silverton guard Alia Parsons, who finished with a game-high 17 points, Jorgensen cut to the hoop for two and slashed the Foxes lead in half. Raines brought the Cougars within one on a free throw. And Jorgensen provided the heroics.
Those are the plays you need to win games down the stretch, Cates said. Silverton probably outplayed us seven-eighths of the game, but we outplayed them the one-eighth that mattered.
And although Canby scored a season low in points, it also held an opponent below the 40-point mark for the fourth time in seven games. The Cougars kept teams below 40 four times all of last season.
The key was just to try and stay composed as a team, Jorgensen said. Our defense had so much energy, but then we got frantic on offense. Towards the end we really calmed down and made the key plays we needed to win the game.
It was closer than we were expecting. Our defense really kept us in the game.
Taylor Lee received her first playing time of the season after missing the first nine games to recover from a knee sprain. The senior forward logged a few minutes in the second quarter.
Lee missed her only field-goal attempt, a three-pointer from the left corner.
Shes been out since the beginning, so shes really not in basketball shape, Cates said. Its going to take her a while. But you go with what youve got. Thats been our mantra all season.
AT A GLANCE
Canby 41, Silverton 38
Jan. 3 at Canby High School
1 2 3 4 F
Silverton 9 10 11 8 38
Canby 13 8 8 12 41
Silverton (38): Alia Parsons 17, Meagan Ratliff 9, Tess Oster 8, Sequoia Rysdam 4.
Canby (41): Rachel Erbe 14, Taylor Jorgensen 11, Ashley Evans 5, Bailey Raines 4, Morgan Meisenheimer 4, Skylee Doman 3.