Cougars Win 15th Annual 'Clash at Canyons' Tourney
By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
The Cougars were crowned champions of the 15th Annual 'Clash at Canyons' Tip-Off Event after posting wins over Barstow College and Cuyamaca College to begin the 2023-24 season.
Canyons (2-0) was a 101-83 winner over Barstow College in the tournament's opening round. Freshman Isaiah Baptista scored 24 points, with five assists, five rebounds and three steals in his Cougar debut. Mason Savery opened the season with an 18-point effort and added five rebounds.
Joshua Barnett and Jonah El-Farra both came off the bench to finish in double digits. Barnett was 7-of-10 from the floor to end with 16 points. El-Farra was 6-of-8 shooting for 12 points and pulled down six rebounds
The Cougars shot nearly 59 percent as a team and converted on 14-of-16 foul shots. Barstow had five players top the 10-point plateau but trailed throughout the contest, as Canyons worked a 51-39 halftime score into an eventual 18-point advantage.
In the tourney's other first round game it was Cuyamaca College with a 74-48 victory over Oxnard College.
That result sent the Coyotes into a championship game matchup vs. COC. Barstow eventually evened its record with an 85-72 win vs. Oxnard in the tourney's consolation game.
Once again, it was the Canyons bench provided a boost in getting past Cuyamaca 74-70. This time it was Barnett converting on 4-of-6 three pointers to end with a game-high 21 points. His four assists were also a team best. El-Farra's first double-double of the season came by way of 17 points and 10 rebounds. Savery led the starters with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Savery was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player with Baptista and El-Farra both taking All-Tournament Team honors. Xavier Rubio (Cuyamaca), Derek Eide (Barstow) and Jacob Mora (Oxnard) rounded out the All-Tournament selections.
Canyons next plays at the Irvine Valley College Classic Nov. 9 & 11. The Cougars open at 5 p.m. Thursday vs. the host Lasers.
—Photo by Carla Sophia Velasco/COC Sports Information