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Girls basketball: Rachel Erbe, Bailey Raines lead Canby past Grant
The seniors each score 22 points as the Cougars demolish the Generals with their full-court press.
LAKE OSWEGO There was a moment last season when Bailey Raines had to leave the court for emergency medical attention, her asthma making it hard for her to breathe.
But if she felt winded at all during the Interstate Shootout tournament, it wasnt because of any problems with her airways.
It wouldve been because she and the Canby girls basketball team were running all over Portland-Grant.
Led by Raines and fellow senior Rachel Erbe, who scored 22 points each, the Cougars pushed the pace and forced turnover after turnover in a commanding 74-48 rout Dec. 28 at Lake Oswego High School.
It was the fourth win of a five-game streak for Canby (6-2), which crushed Gresham-Centennial 70-37 in its first game at the annual tournament a day earlier and edged Tualatin 58-50 in the semifinals the next day. The winning streak began with nonconference road victories against Roseburg and South Eugene.
The Cougars will face Hermiston (6-3) the top-ranked team in Class 5A in the tournament finals at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 30.
Canby has excelled in part because of the effectiveness of its full-court defense, which second-year coach Brooke Cates began implementing last year.
Raines and her teammates made mistakes as they began learning the nuances of the press, and they havent perfected it yet. But theyre much more comfortable with it this season.
I cant give away the secrets, Raines said with a laugh. But I think its successful because were so fast up front, and then our second row is our smarts. Were smart back there. We get really good initial reads. We made some mistakes last year we didnt always know when to go, when to stay. This year, after running it for a year, its helping a lot. Were clicking into it. Were believing in it and believing in each other.
Cates said shes noticing improvement in other areas of the game, too.
Theyre starting to figure out all the systems, Cates said. Last year, everything was new. This year, they have a year under their belt. Were starting to understand each other better. We want to play up-tempo, and were getting better at it.
Its a process that has Canby looking more and more like a squad that can capture not only the programs eight-straight appearance in the playoffs but also its first playoff win since 2007.
Raines and Erbe have had plenty to do with the teams success so far.
Raines did a little of everything against Grant (3-7), scoring the first four points of the game on a driving layup and jump shot and extending her teams lead to 17-5 on a floater in the paint.
The Cougars led 21-5 at the end of the first quarter and never relinquished control.
Raines also blanketed the Generals in the backcourt, forcing them into ill-advised passes that Canby turned into fast-break opportunities.
I went through a lot of stuff vocal therapy, speech and breathing therapy and all kinds of treatments, Raines said of her offseason. Now, Im completely off everything. Im off all steroids, off all inhalers I dont even keep one as an emergency. I trained really hard this fall to hit that initial attack and then work through it. I let it get to me last year. It was new, and I was like, Whats happening? But I think (Im) good this year.
The Cougars let their 42-22 halftime lead slip slightly in the third quarter, Grant pulling within 51-37 on a free throw by freshman guard Justice West. Raines countered with three free throws and a three-point play to build Canbys edge back to 59-37 late in the frame.
We got comfortable, Raines said of the lull. Its something we shouldnt do, being older and wanting to be successful. It took us a couple minutes ... but we went into a new mode. It shouldve never happened. We just got lazy. But we got out of it.
Erbe, meanwhile, served as an interior force for the Cougars. She scored on a turnaround shot, offensive putback and transition layup in the first quarter alone, her basket in the paint early in the second quarter pushing Canbys lead to 25-5.
In the second half, Erbe showcased her mobility on a face-up attack move and also finished two inbounds plays in traffic.
Erbe scored a game-high 16 points in the rout of Centennial a day earlier, while Taylor Jorgensen (14 points), Raines (12) and Ashley Evans (11) also scored in double figures.
Shes a talented athlete, and when she shows up shes something to reckon with, Cates said of her 6-foot-2 forward. Shes a tough player. (She and Raines) both can really score the ball. But you never know whos going be our high scorer. Thats a nice weapon to have.
Erbes outing against Grant helped the Cougars overcome the absence of senior forward Neila Kuznetsov, who sustained a sprained ankle against Centennial.
Kuznetsov is out indefinitely, further straining a squad that is already playing without senior forward Taylor Lee (knee).
Thats a huge hit, Cates said. She had been playing really well. It might not always show in the stats, but shes a huge piece to our puzzle.
Now its up to Canby to build on its recent success as its nonconference slate continues with back-to-back home games against Silverton (7 p.m. Jan. 3) and Keizer-McNary (5:45 p.m. Jan. 4).
We played some hard teams in the beginning, and it got us a lot better, Raines said. I think were going to have a shot to beat some upper-class teams. Weve been playing together for years, and I think were going to have a good shot at making it pretty far this year.
AT A GLANCE
Canby 74, Portland-Grant 48
Dec. 28 at Lake Oswego High School
1 2 3 4 F
Canby 21 23 15 15 74
Grant 5 17 17 9 48
Canby (74): Bailey Raines 22, Rachel Erbe 22, Ashley Evans 9, Skylee Doman 7, Morgan Meisenheimer 6, Taylor Jorgensen 5, Mackenzie Lee 3.
Grant (48): Nina Radford 12, Morgan Hieggelke 8, Princess McNair 8, Shayla Noil 6, Khiarica Rasheed 4, Jackie Rath 2, Anna Hekker 2, Jehdah Walker 2, Mary Banks 2, Justice West 2.