For two quarters of Wednesday's game against Arlington (Calif.), Clark boys basketball coach Chad Beeten watched his team play inspired ball.
However, the other two periods nearly left the third-year coach feeling flat.
"The first quarter and the third quarter, we gave up five and eight points, respectively," Beeten said. "(The Lions) scored the other 40 points in the other two quarters. That's not acceptable. To be as good as we want to be, we have to be better than that."
Despite the Jekyll-and-Hyde performance, Clark benefited from a 20-point effort from Eastern Washington-bound guard Sir Washington to outlast the Lions 64-53 in the opening game of the Las Vegas Prep Championship.
The victory was the fifth in a row for the Chargers (11-1).
"A win is a win, I guess," Beeten said. "I thought the second and fourth quarters were disappointing. One of our big focuses today was offense, especially in the halfcourt. I thought we did a really good job making sure everyone got touches and played inside and out."
Clark charged to a 15-1 first-quarter advantage, creating plenty of second-chance opportunities. The Chargers held Arlington to two points in the paint in the first half.
"We're always going to be bigger and more physical than every team out there," Beeten said. "And even when we're not, we want to play inside-out."
Leaning heavily on guard Joshua Godwin, Arlington (8-4) cut the Chargers' halftime lead to 30-21. The junior, who finished with 15 points, connected on 4 of 6 3-point shots in the second quarter.
"They were all uncontested," Beeten said. "We were being mentally lazy. That's the hump that we've got to get over."
After extending the lead to 49-29 heading into the final quarter, Clark's perimeter defense struggled once again. The Lions used a 12-0 fourth-quarter spurt and two long 3-pointers to cut the deficit to seven points with just over a minute remaining. Malcolm Davis' quick conversion in the paint with 48 seconds remaining cemented Clark's victory.
"We were just lagging at the end," Washington said. "You have to keep your game up tight."
Diontae Jones had 15 points and five rebounds for the Chargers, and Davis chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Contact John W. Scafetta at email@example.com or 702-383-0430.