Chargers’ Jones shows why he’s Mountain West bound


During pregame introductions, the public-address announcer at Clark’s boys basketball games calls senior forward Diontae Jones “Does It All.”

Considering everything the 6-foot-6-inch Wyoming signee did Friday, it was an appropriate nickname.

Jones finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the host Chargers survived a tense final minute to slip past No. 4 Las Vegas 60-55 in a battle of top-five teams.

“He stepped up like a man, like our best player should do,” Clark coach Chad Beeten said. “He’s not just a defender, he’s an all-around player ... and that’s why he’s going to play in the Mountain West, because he does a little bit of everything. He’s the kind of kid you have on the floor that just helps you win games.”

Jones, who added two steals and two blocked shots and shot 9-for-9 from the foul line, also drew a key charge on Las Vegas’ Devon Colley with 1:07 to play. Carter Olsen made two free throws to put the No. 3 Chargers (11-5) up 58-49 with a minute left before Las Vegas (14-3) rallied.

Patrick Savoy banked in a 3-pointer, and Re’Kwon Smith hit a 3 with 21.5 seconds left to cut Clark’s lead to 58-55. But Clark’s Darius Jackson went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line with 20.6 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.

“These are the types of games you want to play,” Jones said. “Coach tells us, ‘You don’t want to play the blowouts, you want to play the game everybody wants to see on a Friday night.’ We lived up to the hype.”

Smith was held to 17 points, nine points below his season average, and added five assists, four rebounds and two blocks. But the highly recruited junior was 5-for-16 from the field as Arizona coach Sean Miller looked on from the bleachers.

“I know his game really well, and I have a lot of respect for it,” Beeten said. “We knew what we had to do with him, and we did it.”

Olsen finished with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, including one to Jones for a layup that expanded the Chargers’ lead to 54-45 with two minutes to play. Darius Jackson and Colby Jackson each supplied seven points for Clark, which took control with an 8-1 run to close the third quarter after the teams were tied at 36.

Tyler Bey had 10 points, nine rebounds and six blocks for Las Vegas, and Colley and Savoy each scored nine.

“They’re one of the best teams in the city, and they’ve got really good players, and they’re really well coached,” Beeten said. “It’s a big win for us.”

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

 

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