The busiest month of the winter sports season for high school athletics is quickly upon us.
The last round of Pacific Conference play for basketball begins. And district meets for swimming and wrestling begin Friday and end Saturday.
It has certainly been an up-and-down season for the winter sports teams at Canby, which could possibly see both the boys and girls basketball teams miss the Class 6A state playoffs altogether.
Both teams had crucial matchups on Tuesday against Tigard at home, but could not pull off the much-needed wins to grab the fourth and final playoff spot from the conference.
Starting with the boys game, Canby lost 55-43.
The scenario becomes simple for the Cougars for their final five games: They have to beat Tigard in the league standings to get into the state playoffs.
Canby is currently at 4-6 in league play, and Tigard is 5-5.
My recap, Tigard 55, Canby 43: Tigers put end to Canby's momentum, winning streak
Canby coach Dane Walker described it as his team’s biggest game of the season on Tuesday.
With a recent surge that included a season-high three-game winning streak, the Cougars looked to continue their momentum against Tigard.
A Canby victory would mean sole possession of fourth place in the Pacific Conference.
A loss would signal an uphill battle to qualify for the Class 6A state playoffs.
Unfortunately, the Cougars could not hit enough big shots down the stretch en route to a 55-43 loss to Tigard at Canby High School.
Canby (6-13 overall, 4-6 Pacific) now sits one game behind Tigard (9-10, 5-5) for the fourth and final playoff spot from the conference.
Dan Brood, Tigard-Tualatin TImes, Big in the clutch
In a game that like will have huge implications in deciding who will, and who won’t, make the Class 6A state playoffs, the Tigers powered their way to a 55-43 win over Canby in a Pacific Conference contest played Tuesday at Canby High School.
“It’s big,” Tigard senior wing Dylan Casey said of the victory. “We were looking at this game like a playoff game. It was a must-win game for us.”
On the girls side, things did not go exactly the way Canby drew it up.
Just 14 points were scored, including one in the first quarter and two in the second quarter en route to a 51-14 loss at home.
Coach Heather Roberts was unavailable for comment after the game, which is why my only quotes came from Tigard coach Steve Naylor for the story.
My recap, Tigard 51, Canby 14: Tigers win in lopsided defeat over Cougars
It was likely the most frustrating game under coach Heather Roberts’four-year tenure.
The Canby girls basketball team struggled on both ends of the floor in a 51-14 loss to Tigard on Tuesday night at Canby High School.
It marked the fewest points scored by Canby since Roberts took over before the 2006-07 season. The previous low was 26 points in a 62-26 loss to then-No. 1 Southridge on Dec. 4, 2007 at home.
The defeat was the Cougars’ third straight, and fifth loss in over the past six games heading into Thursday’s matchup at Tualatin.
Dan Brood, Tigard-Tualatin Times, Tigers get defensive – and then some
“We played great on defense,” said Tigard sophomore post Maddie Black, who had 15 points and seven rebounds in the victory. “That’s how we got them last time (a 53-42 win back on Jan. 22). We were really ready to go tonight and we came out and played strong.”
With the win, Tigard improved to 8-2 in league play (14-5 overall), keeping the Tigers alone in second place in the Pacific Conference standings.
“I’m really happy with how we played tonight,” Tigard coach Steve Naylor said. “The girls have been working really hard in practice and I don’t know if I’ve ever been around a group that had better team chemistry. This is just a great group to be around.”
The Pacific Conference district wrestling tournament also takes place at Forest Grove High School.
Matches leading up to the championship quarterfinals will take place from 4 to 8:45 p.m. on Friday night.
On Saturday, the semifinal matches will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The consolation bracket will conclude from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The third-fourth place matches and the championship matches will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
The top three wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the Class 6A state tournament.
The most interesting note when looking at the brackets is three-time state champion Tommy Siciliano of Newberg will now wrestle at 125 pounds, and Canby High School senior James Roberts will wrestle at 130.
Both wrestlers squared off in the league dual, which saw Roberts prevail, 6-5, on a last-second escape.
Over on the swimming side, the Pacific Conference district meet will be from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the McMinnville Aquatic center on Friday.
The finals will conclude on Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m.
The Canby girls swim team will look to cap its most successful season in school history following their league dual championship when the Cougars beat Tigard, 126-43.
So a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks.