It didn’t take the Canyon Lake boys basketball team (1-1) long to get acquainted with Coach Jeff Maynard’s system.
After the Hawks dropped their first game to Maynard’s old school, Pflugerville Hendrickson, by the score of 68-60, they quickly made up for their season-opening loss by routing Blanco 64-36 last Monday night.
The game was against Blanco’s depleted varsity squad (some of the players are still playing football), which essentially made it a match-up of JV teams. After the game, there was no remaining doubt regarding who had the better talent on the court.
Paced by Christian Pena’s 24 first half points, Canyon Lake sprinted out to a big lead in the first half and were given an additional lift by Jeremey Ramos, who nailed a long 3-pointer right before the halftime buzzer. That gave the Hawks a 43-25 advantage going into the locker room and they would never look back, cruising to the team’s historic first win.
“This is big,” Maynard said. “I told the guys today that the hardest win to get is the first one. To get a win over a program like [Blanco], that’s pretty special.”
Pena finished with a game-high 30 points, and did most of his damage close to the rim, as he used his athleticism to get to the basket and convert on multiple lay-ups.
Dillon Luehlfing ruled the paint for the Hawks, contributing five blocked shots to go along with his 15 points, including several put-back buckets that came on offensive rebounds.
Ramos also finished in double-figures for the Hawks, with 10 points.
Make no mistake about it, this Canyon Lake team has talent, as evident by their impressive performance against the Panthers. Coach Maynard feels that his team just needs some more experience in order to reach their potential.
“Right now we’re real raw,” Maynard said. “These guys don’t have a whole lot of basketball knowledge yet. We’ve got some athleticism and we’ve got some basketball skill, and hopefully with time we’ll be able to refine those things and turn these guys into a team to be reckoned with in the area.”
The only criticism of the Hawks thus far correlates directly to their youth. In the game against Hendrickson, the team was able to build a lead, but ultimately couldn’t seal the deal. Then, against Blanco, Canyon Lake had a bit of lull in the third quarter after coming out of halftime up by 18 points.
“That’s probably the biggest thing right now – we don’t know how to put people away,” Maynard said. “Our last game against Hendrickson, we had two seven point leads that we blew, and [against Blanco] we let them get back into it. You know, we just don’t know how to put the hammer down on somebody and put them away.”
The Hawks were back at home last night (Nov. 27), hosting the Wimberley Texans’ varsity squad. This weekend, Canyon Lake will hit the road for the first time to compete in a tournament at Hays High School on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (times TBD).
After that, the Hawks return home next Tuesday (Dec. 4) for a match-up against Stacey High School’s varsity squad. Stacey is located on Lacklund Air Force Base in San Antonio, and they will be traveling to CLHS for a 7 p.m. tip-off.