Printed on: December 13, 2012

5A Grizzlies hammered by 3A Russets in mismatch

By Michael Lycklama

Skyline started Wednesday night in a hole when Joe Grinnell was called for a technical for dunking in warmups.

Shelley's McKay Cannon drained both free throws, giving his team a 2-0 lead before any time running off the clock. And it only got worse from there as Shelley ran away with a 76-49 boys basketball victory.

Shelley dominated the opening minutes, stretching its lead to 11-0 before Skyline's Xavier Banks got his team on the board with a 17-foot jumper. Skyline struggled to even get off shots early, turning the ball over six times before Banks' jumper ended the Grizz's drought with 3:35 left in the first quarter.

Skyline answered Shelley's run with a 10-0 run of its own. But Cannon drained a 3-pointer from the left wing with 31 seconds left in the first, and then Tyler Fredrickson sunk another 3 despite bobbling the ball on the way up as time expired in the quarter.

Shelley never looked back as it led from start to finish and Skyline never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

"That was huge," Cannon said of the 11-0 start, "especially coming on the road against a good team. It kind of settled us down."

Skyline threw plenty of defenses at Cannon, a senior point guard committed to a full-ride scholarship to Weber State. It went to a box-and-one defense early in the first quarter, and when it fell behind, it tried to pressure the Russets in the full court to catch up.

Cannon shredded the press and finished with game-highs in points (19) and assists (six). He did the most damage in the third quarter against the box-and-one, staying patient before springing open in the right corner for two of his four 3-pointers.

"He had his best game of the season so far," Shelley coach Dave Hadley said. "I thought he took control of their pressure. They weren't able to get out and trap us a whole lot because of him."

Chad Leckington added 18 points for Shelley and Fredrickson and Dalton Nelson each added 11 as four Shelley players finished in double figures.

Skyline stayed within 10 points most of the night. But the Grizz went ice cold in the fourth quarter, scoring just four points as Shelley pulled away for the 27-point win.

"It's December right now," Skyline coach Ty Shippen said. "We got out played tonight. We're definitely not playing our best basketball. But we've got two months until districts and so we've just got to do a better job of getting better everyday."

Skyline (2-3) opens its conference schedule Friday with a road trip to Highland. Shelley (4-1) travels to Idaho Falls on Friday.