Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2014

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hs basketball:

Canyon Springs forces tempo in second half, blows past Silverado

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Canyon Springs basketball players Jared Brandon and D.J. Anderson.

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Playoff bracket breakdown

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss their way through the Sunrise and Sunset playoff brackets. They disagree on the early rounds, but come to a consensus on who will advance to the state championship.

The Canyon Springs High basketball team is widely considered the lone squad that can give two-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman a challenge this basketball postseason.

But early in Canyon Springs’ first playoff game, it looked like the Pioneers might not get that chance.

The Northeast Division champions trailed Silverado by one-point at halftime in the Sunrise Regional quarterfinals before dominating the second half in a 60-39 victory.

The difference between the first and second half was simple: Canyon Springs controlled the pace in the final 16 minutes. In the first half, Silverado spread the court in slowing the game down, which took an athletic Canyon Springs squad out of its up-and-down attack.

“We told them (at halftime) that we have to play our game,” Canyon Springs coach Daryl Branham said. “They were trying to spread us out and slow the pace down. We couldn’t let them dictate the pace.”

Michael Thompson, a Boise State signee, had a team-high 16 points to lead Canyon Springs. Post player Jared Brandon added 11 points and eight rebounds, and Donald Anderson had 10 points. Also, Chris Willis had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Canyon Springs, which lost to Gorman in last year’s state finals, advances to the Sunrise semifinals and a date with Foothill. Canyon Springs beat Foothill in last year’s Sunrise finals and topped the Falcons 91-56 in December.

Just don’t expect the Pioneers to look past the Falcons.

“(Foothill coach Kevin Soares) always has his team prepared,” Branham said. “They are well-coached and always play physical and scrappy. I expect a very hard fought game.”

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