Canby Champions

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Seventh-Grade Cougars Win Home Tourney

Star Students: Presented by Roth Heathing
By Ty Walker, Contributing Writer | Photos courtesy of Canby Junior Girls Basketball

Canby seventh-graders used tenacious defense and teamwork to win the Canby Junior Girls Basketball Tournament they hosted on the second weekend in December. Canby went 4–0 for the tournament and beat rival Woodburn 47–35 in the championship final.

Leading the way for the Junior Cougars were Ruby Tilden, Olivia Lawson and Adelynn Smith. In keeping with their teamwork ethic, they don’t keep track of individual player statistics.

“They’re really playing excellent,” Canby Junior Girls Basketball Coach Tyler Smith said. “They have put in a lot of work during the offseason. They’re getting to know the offenses and defenses that we run, and we run them really well.”

Canby did a lot of things right en route to emerging as champion from a field of seven teams at its hometown tournament.

“They’re sharing the basketball, which is huge for youth to be able to share the basketball and pass well,” Smith said. “That’s the definite strength of our girls.”

The team consists of 10 players, many of whom played together on the state-champion Canby sixth-grade team last year. This group of girls showed the confidence that comes with competitive teams who know what it takes to win.

Most of Canby’s season is made up of traveling to weekend tournaments around the region, Smith said. The team had an impressive 12–4 record as it entered a tournament hosted by Newberg the weekend following the Canby tournament.

Some outstanding Canby players took a break from practice for an interview with Canby Magazine to talk about the team’s strengths and winning their home tournament.


Shooting guard Olivia Lawson: “It was definitely our defense. I think it helped us win the tournament, and definitely teamwork. I was very confident in our team. I feel like we have a good bond together and I think we work well together. Shooting and getting open, finding open people.”

Point guard Adelynn Smith: “Our teamwork and our passing did really well, along with our press. I think we all had a good time. I felt pretty confident about the tournament.”

Power forward Ruby Tilden: “The team has played three years together. I was very confident. Pressing, defense and steals” were keys to winning the tournament.