Chargers capture Southern title


It was almost a year to the day since Desert Pines’ boys basketball team used a furious rally to defeat Clark in the Division I-A state title game.

The Chargers made sure it didn’t happen again Saturday.

Carter Olsen hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points, and Clark defeated Desert Pines 54-48 in the Division I-A Southern Region title game at Sunrise Mountain. Both teams advance to this week’s state tournament in Reno.

“Both teams wanted it,” said Clark coach Chad Beeten, whose team lost 59-57 to Desert Pines in the I-A final on Feb. 23, 2013. “That’s a damn good team. We’re really pretty even. We just got the best of them tonight. We’re pretty confident that we’re going to see them again.”

Clark (23-5) led 26-24 at halftime, and the Jaguars played neck-and-neck in the third quarter, but hot outside shooting helped the Chargers get the win.

Desert Pines (23-5) had taken a 39-38 lead on a runner by freshman Capri Uzan with 1:06 to go in the quarter. But Olsen took two dribbles around a screen at the top of the key to put Clark up 41-39, and the Chargers didn’t trail again.

Colby Jackson’s 3-pointer from the top of the key, and a transition bucket by Jordan Turner, pushed the lead to 46-39 with 7:15 to play.

Jackson finished with 11 points, and Diontae Jones had 12 points and six rebounds for Clark, which lost 63-59 to Desert Pines in last season’s region final.

Uzan led Desert Pines with 15 points. Desert Pines was just 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from the field in the fourth quarter and 17-for-56 (30.3 percent) for the game.

“I thought we were doing a great job defensively,” Beeten said.

Timothy Jeffries added 10 points, and Nate Grimes had 14 rebounds for the Jaguars.

DIVISION III SOUTHERN LEAGUE

Agassi Prep’s boys basketball team has little margin for error on defense.

With only seven active players on its roster, the Stars couldn’t afford to get into foul trouble while going for steals and trying to ignite their transition game.

On Saturday, Agassi Prep effectively tap danced around early foul issues while building a big lead and held on for a 66-58 win over The Meadows in the Division III Southern League final at Sunrise Mountain.

The Stars (24-1) and Mustangs (23-7) advance to this week’s state tournament in Reno.

“That’s just coaching, teaching them to play without using their hands,” Agassi Prep coach Trevor Diggs said. “They’re doing a great job right now. Our bigs are playing straight up. Our guards are pressuring without fouling.”

It didn’t hurt that Agassi Prep shot extremely well to start the game, making eight of its first 10 shots to take a 19-4 lead on Stephan Laushaul’s transition basket with 54.5 seconds left in the first quarter.

Despite having starting post Dennis Walker and reserve Wa’T Manor each collect two fouls in the first quarter, the Stars forced seven turnovers and turned them into 14 points in the quarter.

Agassi Prep expanded the lead to 37-21 at halftime and led 58-45 with less than six minutes to play before the Mustangs rallied to within 58-53 with 4:26 left. The Meadows, though, got no closer.

Deishuan Booker led Agassi Prep with 19 points. Kobe Williams, Kenneth Hatano and Walker each scored 11 and Laushaul had 10 for the Stars.

Eric Hirsberg scored 14 points for The Meadows. Brian Fridman added 12 points, and Brandon Rufty and Jake Epstein each scored 10 for the Mustangs.

DIVISION IV SOUTHERN LEAGUE

Spring Mountain’s boys basketball team appeared to be well on its way to victory with less than four minutes remaining in Saturday’s Division IV Southern League championship game.

The Golden Eagles had a 13-point lead against Adelson School and were trying to dribble time off the clock.

Key free throws by George Brown and a steal and layup by Harlow Hawkins with 3.8 seconds left helped Spring Mountain survive for a 74-69 win over the Lions at Sunrise Mountain. The Golden Eagles (14-3) and Adelson School (17-2) will compete in this week’s state tournament in Reno.

“It got shaky,” said Spring Mountain coach Ed Cheltenham, whose team won its second league title in three years. “It was just inexperience. We tried to stall, and we let them in the door.”

David Otuafi’s stick-back basket with 3:56 to play gave Spring Mountain a 66-53 lead, but the Lions used a quick 14-2 run to pull within 68-67 with 1:35 to go.

After a free throw by Hawkins, Brown hit two free throws with 50.1 seconds left to extend the lead to 71-67.

Jacob Elharar’s free throws with 9.9 seconds left made it 71-69.

Brown hit one of two free throws a second later, and as the Lions tried for a tying shot, Hawkins stripped the ball free near midcourt and cruised in for a layup.

Otuafi had 18 points to lead Spring Mountain. Devonte Richey added 13 points, and Hawkins and Lagarrian Jones each scored 10 for the Golden Eagles. Jones also grabbed 18 rebounds.

Sean Perry and Jake Buchman each had 20 points and Elharar 17 for Adelson School.

 

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