BOYS BASKETBALL: Fight to the finish

CANBY – The hot get hotter.

Canby survived a thrilling contest against Dawson-Boyd to win the Camden Conference championship, defeating the Blackjacks 70-63 on Tuesday at Canby High School.

The win marked the eighth straight for the Lancers and the Blackjacks suffered their second straight loss after nearly completing the perfect season.

“On defense, we just kept playing man-to-man and we kept feeding our bigs,” Canby junior forward Josh Gallegos said. “Our guards kept playing the way they know how to play; we made free throws at the end and came up with a ‘W.'”

Michael Slaba led the Lancers with 20 points and had seven assists while Zach Nuy chipped in 19 points, Gallegos had 15 points and seven rebounds and Kristian Leppke tallied 15 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Dawson-Boyd’s Joey Lee finished with 21 points to go with 20 from Michael Lee. Jeff Hansen and Noah Stelter each scored eight points.

The Lancers forced Michael Lee out of the paint on offense and allowed him to grab eight rebounds on the contest. He has averaged 11.9 rebounds this season.

Despite holding a 22-21 edge in rebounding, Dawson-Boyd coach Cory Larson wanted the Blackjacks to more physical inside.

“We got beat on the boards,” Larson said. “We needed to be more physical and we weren’t. That’s what killed us in the second half. They had four kids score 15 points or above and a lot of teams are going to come away with wins when they play like that. They are a very good basketball team.”

Dawson-Boyd led 39-32 at the break, but the Lancers rallied to tie the game at 45-45 with a little more than 12 minutes to go.

Both teams played evenly for the next 8 minutes and the game remained tied 54-54 with 4:30 to go.

The Lancers then continued to force their way inside on offense. Canby went on a 10-5 run during the next 3:17 and had a 65-61 lead with a little less than 40 seconds to go.

The Blackjacks were never able to recover.

One look at the stat sheet shows just how close these two teams were.

Dawson-Boyd shot 58 percent from the field compared to Canby’s 56 percent. The Blackjacks shot 6-15 (40 percent) from 3-point range, while Canby finished 3 of 8 (38 percent).

Assists and free throws were both key stats in the game. Canby had 15 assists compared to Dawson-Boyd’s eight.

The Lancers’ free throw-numbers were inflated late in the game, but they made 15 of 22 attempts compared to Dawson-Boyd’s 3 of 5.

Joey Lee was able to get to the basket at times, but the Lancers were able to cut off driving lanes for other Blackjacks.

“We knew we had to stop him,” Canby coach Jon Hanson said of Joey Lee. “He’s the one that makes the whole offense go and I thought we did a great job of that.”

Canby was 13-4 overall on Jan. 28 before embarking on an eight-game winning streak.

Somewhere along the line, something clicked.

“We really came together chemistry-wise,” Gallegos said. “We’re a team now. We win and lose as a team.”

Canby 70, Dawson-Boyd 63

DAWSON-BOYD (21-2 OVERALL): Jess Hansen 3-5 0-0 8, Karson Lindblad 0-0 0-0 0, Noah Stelter 3-5 1-1 8, Joey Lee 9-16 2-2 21, Kyler Collins 1-2 0-0 2, Hunter Olson 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Lee 9-15 0-0 20, Tyler Thesing 0-0 0-0 0, Cody Aafedt 0-1 0-0 0, Easton Popma0-0 0-0 0 , Zach Stratmoen 2-2 0-0 4, Cameron Kemen 0-0 0-0 0, Dalton Kostad 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 27-46 (X58%) 3-5 (60%) 63.

CANBY (21-4 OVERALL): McKinley Johansen 0-2 1-2, Michael Slaba 5-8 7-10 20, Nathan Cooper 0-0 0-0 0, Zach Nuy 9-19 1-2 19, Josh Gallegos 7-7 1-2 15, Kristian Leppke 2-3 5-6 15. TOTALS: 23-37 (62%) 15-22 (68%) 70.

HALFTIME: Canby 32, Dawson-Boyd 39. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Dawson-Boyd 6-15 (Hansen 2-4, M. Lee 2-3, Stelter 1-3, J. Lee 1-4); Canby 3-14 (Leppke 2-6, Slaba 1-6). REBOUNDS: Dawson-Boyd 22 (Lee 8); Canby 21(Gallegos 8). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Dawson-Boyd 18 (Collins); Canby 8 (None). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Dawson-Boyd 8 (Stelter 3, J. Lee 3); Canby 15 (Slaba 7). STEALS: Dawson-Boyd 2 (Hansen 1, Lee 1); Canby 8 (Leppke 3). BLOCKED SHOTS: Dawson-Boyd 0 ; Canby 1 (Gallegos). TURNOVERS: Dawson-Boyd 2; Canby 8.