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Canyon Springs boys’ defense stops Eldorado

After topping 100 points in three games earlier this season, the Canyon Springs boys basketball team built a reputation as an offensive juggernaut.

The Pioneers showed Wednesday they are pretty good defensively, too.

Canyon Springs had eight steals and held Eldorado to 18 points in the first half on its way to an 80-62 road win in a Northeast League showdown.

“We like to play defense. We play defense first,” Canyon Springs guard Jared Brandon said. “Good defense allows us to score. A lot of our points come from defense.”

Brandon, a senior, led the second-ranked Pioneers (14-1, 3-0 Northeast) with 31 points, five rebounds and two steals.

Canyon Springs has held its first three league opponents to an average of less than 64 points per game.

“We’re showing that we can play a little bit of defense,” Pioneers coach Daryl Branham said. “We talked about pressuring their guards, and to our kids’ credit, they played hard, pressured their guards and forced them to be uncomfortable.”

Canyon Springs star guard Michael Thompson was held scoreless in the first quarter, but the Pioneers still led 14-7 entering the second. Canyon Springs then blew open the game with a 26-11 run in the second quarter.

Thompson, who has signed with Boise State, finished with 17 points and five rebounds.

Senior guard Chris Willis supplied 13 points, six rebounds and three steals for the Pioneers.

“We’ve got guys who can score,” Branham said. “Everybody’s capable of scoring between Chris, Marquon (Webster) and D.J. (Anderson).”

Senior forward Curtis Stewart led seventh-ranked Eldorado (12-4, 2-1) with 31 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.

DaQuon Thrower added 12 points for the Sundevils, who were held to their third-fewest points this season.

Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203.

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