In meeting to decide the sole girls basketball leader in District 4-4A at Randall on Friday night, Canyon and Randall knew it wasn’t about playing a perfect 32 minutes to determine district supremacy.
That’s a lesson No. 5 Canyon has applied for nearly four decades as one of the most dominant athletic programs in the state, where all that matters is the final result.
Canyon never really dominated Randall, who never really went away. But it didn’t matter in the end, as the Lady Eagles scrapped out a 47-37 victory over Randall which kept them unbeaten atop the district, with a 16-3 overall and 5-0 district mark.
The Lady Eagles didn’t accrue a lot of style points in the win, but they got more than Canyon ISD rival Randall (16-8, 4-1) where it mattered, on the scoreboard.
“It’s one of those tough games,” Canyon coach Tate Lombard said. “It’s a tough rivalry game. Both teams played hard, and we knew it was going to be hard to get baskets.
Defense was the theme in the first half, as Canyon ended the half with eight unanswered points to take a 21-15 halftime lead.
Canyon got off to a strong start offensively, jumping out to an 11-3 lead. But the Lady Eagles went cold for most of the next quarter, as Randall got back into it and tied it 13-13 on an Ashley Norman bucket.
Norman then hit a pair of free throws to open the second quarter to give the Lady Raiders their only lead of the half, 15-13. But it was their only lead of the game, and they didn’t score again the rest of the quarter.
Ta’Leeyah Glynn gave the Lady Eagles the lead back with a basket to make it 17-15 and they led the rest of the way.
As has often been the case on Canyon’s highly successful teams, the Lady Eagles got through rough patches with their defense until their offense got untracked.
“I think those kinds of situations it kind of gives your offense a little time if your defense is playing well,” Lombard said. “(Randall) made it tough for us all evening. We got some free looks there late that made the difference.”
Randall was unable to get any closer than four points in the second half, although the game was hardly a rout. Jaylee Moss, who led Canyon with 13 points, hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to match the two by Randall’s Sadie Sanchez.
The Lady Eagles put away the game at the free throw line, which allowed them to reach the 10-point margin, the biggest lead of the game. Canyon made 6-of-7 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Sanchez led Randall with 13 points and Norman added 10.
Canyon 13 21 29 47
Randall 13 15 22 37
C– Jaylee Moss 13, Kinslee Millican 9. R– Sadie Sanchez 13, Ashley Norman 10. Records: Canyon 16-3, 5-0; Randall 16-8, 4-1.