With eight days between his team's final regular season game and its first playoff game, Canby head coach Jon Hanson said he wasn't sure exactly what to expect from his Lancers squad in Saturday's Section 3A-North quarterfinal game against Lakeview at Montevideo High School.
The offense was off and on after the layoff, but the defense held firm through most of the game allowed the Canby to cruise to a 67-45 victory.
Against Lakeview's big front line of 6-foot-7 center Jonah Dovre and 6-4 senior center Spencer Larsen, Canby's men in the middle raised their game. Michael Sisk scored 17 points and had seven rebounds, while Zach Nuy tallied 13 points and seven boards. The two also worked together to slow down Dovre defensively, limiting the big man to just two points in his return to the court after missing Lakeview's regular season finale with an illness.
"It was pretty surprising with how big (Lakeview) was that they had that good of games," Hanson said of Sisk and Nuy. "Lakeview was playing in that zone and they got the ball in the middle there and made quite a few shots in there uncontested, and they shot pretty well from the free throw line."
Neither team got much going offensively in the first nine minutes of the game and were tied at 9-9 after Larsen split a pair of free throws. Then Canby went on a 14-2 run over the next four minutes to take control of the game. Nuy scored six points during the stretch, including making 4 of 4 free throw attempts, and Sisk also scored a couple of baskets in the paint. They never relinquished their double-digit lead from there.
Guard Michael Slaba also had a solid game for the Lancers, scoring 10 points to go with eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Derek Larsen 4 0-0 11, Tyler Lange 1 0-2 2, Michael Alness 1 0-0 3, Damien Wallin 0 0-2 0, Max Horner 5 0-0 13, Jonah Dovre 0 1-3 1, Spencer Larsen 4 8-10 16. Totals 15 9-17 46. 3-pointers 7 (D. Larsen 3, Horner 3) Rebounds 24 Turnovers 32 Total Fouls 16.
McKinley Johansen 1 0-0 2, Michael Slaba 4 1-2 10, Nate Stafki 1 0-1 3, Cole Brusven 3 2-2 9, Michael Sisk 6 5-6 17, Zach Nuy 4 5-6 13, Josh Gallegos 1 0-0 2, Kristian Leppke 3 2-2 8, Corey Castell 1 0-0 3, Kyle Devos 1 0-2 2. Totals 25 15-21 69. 3-pointers 4 Rebounds 37 (Slaba 8, Sisk 7, Nuy 7, Leppke 6) Assists 15 (Slaba 6, Stafki 5) Steals 19 (Stafki 4, Brusven 4) Blocks 1 Turnovers 21 Total Fouls 18.
Halftime Score: Canby 30, Lakeview 18.
Though Canby slowed down Dovre, Larsen was able to get going offensively and scored 16 points, including making 8 of 10 shots from the foul line. Max Horner and Derek Larsen each connected on three 3-pointers and finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Their team finishes the year with a 12-16 record.
Canby (19-6 overall), the No. 3 seed in the sub-section, advances to face No. 2 seed MACCRAY, which escaped with a 59-51 win over a scrappy Central Minnesota Christian team on Saturday. The two teams will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Southwest Minnesota State.
The Lancers lost to the Wolverines 60-50 on Jan. 24, but Hanson thinks his squad has a good shot in the rematch.
"(CMCS) played (MACCRAY) hard, they really played hard and we're going to have to do that same thing," Hanson said. "We played a good game with them last time even though they beat us. It was kind of good for us to play Lakeview first because they're just as tall, so it will kind of get us ready for MACCRAY."