The Cougars muster 83 points in a win over Milwaukie, their highest total since the 2007-08 season. They also defeat Grant on the road.
An 80-point performance by the Canby boys basketball team isnt an everyday occurrence. It isnt even an every-year occurrence.
But the Cougars showed Jan. 7 that they have the potential to score in droves, overpowering Milwaukie 83-64 in a nonconference game at home.
It was the most prolific offensive outing by a Canby team under coach Craig Evans, who is in his fourth season with the program.
The ninth-ranked Cougars (7-4) hadnt reached that sum since dropping 92 points in a win over Salem-McKay in the 2008 state playoffs under former coach Dane Walker.
It just shows that our San Francisco trip is really paying off, junior guard Jace Cates said. Our offense is working really well. Were practicing hard every day to tune it up and make it better. That night, it came together. And if we keep getting better, I think going into league itll be pretty hard to stop.
Cates had a game-high 26 points against Milwaukie (1-8), but he had plenty of help. Senior guard Trey Bellmore scored 15, senior forward Jordan Sanders added 14 and senior guard Austin Taylor contributed 10.
The Cougars put up 27 points in the first quarter and maintained control from there, outscoring the Mustangs by 13 over the next three quarters. Tyler Spencer had 18 points to lead Milwaukie.
Cougars stave off Generals' rally
Three days later, Canby held on for a 62-54 victory over eighth-ranked Portland-Grant on the road after losing most of a large fourth-quarter lead.
Cates had a team-high 15 points, and Austin Evans finished with 14 after a strong final period. Taylor added 11 and Sanders had 10.
What made the difference for the Cougars was a third quarter in which they held the Generals (6-5) to just four points.
They couldnt do anything against our zone, Cates said. We were really active, and that came from our guards being really active up front. We were making their guards flustered. Then they started making some really deep threes, and we kind of got flustered, turned the ball over and took some dumb shots.
Thanks in part to Evans, Canby recovered in time to defeat a team that was playing without star guard Deiondre Bird (broken jaw). Grants Darren Kennedy finished with a game-high 19 points.
It was the Cougars first meeting with the Generals since 2007 and their first win in the all-time series since Dec. 30, 2006.
Canbys matchup against Grant was particularly meaningful for Cates, who worked on his game in the offseason with opposing assistant coach Chris Foss in the I-5 Elite club ranks.
Ive spent a ton of time with him through the spring and summer, said Cates, who came off the bench for the Cougars last season. It was weird to see him all dressed up. It was fun.
It was cool because hes been a big part of my improvement. It was fun beating him, thats for sure.
'As good a chance as anyone else'
After wrapping up its preseason slate at home Jan. 14 against Westview, Canby will begin its regular season in a Three Rivers League that produced last years top-ranked team (Lake Oswego) and state champion (West Linn).
The Cougars are scheduled to face the Lakers at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17. Theyll take on the Lions in their annual Pack the Gym game Jan. 31.
Cates said he believes his team is prepared for conference competition but that it will find itself struggling if it doesnt turn in consistent efforts.
We have as good a chance as anyone else, he said. I think our league is the best in the state. Everyones good. If you take a night off, youre going to get beat.
AT A GLANCE
Canby 83, Milwaukie 64
Jan. 7 at Canby High School
1 2 3 4 F
Milwaukie 21 15 12 16 64
Canby 27 19 16 21 83
Milwaukie Tyler Spencer 18, Chillberg 11, W. Johnson 11, Walker 8, Louden 7, Voznyuk 5, Rood 4.
Canby Jace Cates 26, Trey Bellmore 15, Jordan Sanders 14, Austin Taylor 10, Austin Evans 9, Brant Lapp 5, Tony Kraus 4.
AT A GLANCE
Canby 62, Grant 54
Jan. 10 at Grant High School (Portland)
1 2 3 4 F
Canby 15 8 18 21 62
Grant 13 16 4 21 54
Canby Jace Cates 15, Austin Evans 14, Austin Taylor 11, Jordan Sanders 10, Trey Bellmore 7, A.J. Schlatter 3, Josh Payne 2.
Grant Darren Kennedy 19, Alondre Augustus 11, Dylan Leonard 9, Luke Atherton 7, Trevor von Arx 6, Isaiah Pernell 2.