It’s usually a bad idea to change your formula for success, especially in the postseason.
Unless you’re Eldorado’s Mitrell Clark.
Known for his outside shooting, Clark attacked the basket relentlessly Thursday, scoring 51 points, to lead Eldorado to a 92-90 overtime win over Desert Pines in the Sunrise Region semifinals at Liberty.
“Basically I was trying to do something new because I knew they were going to play my shot,” Clark said. “So what I did was I mixed it up a little bit. I shot a couple 3-pointers, but then I just attacked the basket.”
The Sundevils (22-8) will play Liberty (18-7) in the Sunrise title game at 7 tonight at Liberty. The Patriots advanced with a 50-49 win over Foothill in the other semifinal.
Clark had seven of Eldorado’s 10 points in overtime. The senior guard was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the extra period. His two free throws with 2:27 to go in overtime broke an 84-84 tie, and the Sundevils wouldn’t trail again.
Bobby Webb’s free throw with 12.3 seconds left gave Eldorado a five-point lead, but Desert Pines’ Pierre Jackson hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left to make the score 92-90.
After Fabian Garcia missed two free throws, the Jaguars (19-10) had a final chance, but Jackson’s desperation heave from beyond halfcourt went over the backboard.
Clark was 15-for-24 from the field and 18-for-21 from the foul line.
“Fifty-one points, that speaks for itself tonight,” Eldorado coach Michael Uzan said. “He’s definitely a leader. He deserves it. He works the hardest.”
Eldorado had chances to seal the game in the fourth quarter but struggled from the free-throw line, where the rest of the team was 7-for-20.
Eldorado led 82-80 when the Sundevils’ Marcus Moreland missed two free throws with 12 seconds left in regulation. Jackson then penetrated and dished to Reggie Shaw for the tying basket with four seconds to go.
The 5-foot-10-inch Clark also had nine rebounds, five assists and two steals.
He came out blazing, scoring the game’s first six points. He even blocked a shot, swatting 6-4 forward Chris Perry’s attempt out of bounds.
Clark was 5-for-5 from the field and 7-for-7 from the foul line as he scored 18 first-quarter points.
“I was just trying to get my team pumped up and get the buckets so they could get hyped,” Clark said. “And then when they focused on me, the team could do their thing.”
Moreland had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Charles White had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Eldorado.
Jackson led Desert Pines with 30 points and 10 assists. Shaw added 30 points and seven rebounds. The duo combined to make 11 3-pointers.
• Liberty 50, Foothill 49 — Milos Knezevic hit two free throws with 59 seconds left to break a 48-48 tie, and the Patriots held on.
“He’s been doing that for two years now,” Liberty coach Pat Welby said. “He steps up in clutch times and knocks them down.”
Knezevic and Cameron Peters each had 17 points for the Patriots. Peters missed two free throws with 19.6 seconds left, but Foothill’s Evan Roquemore missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer as time was winding down.
Roquemore’s three-point play gave Foothill a 46-42 lead with 2:57 to go. But Knezevic had seven points in the final 2:34 to lead the comeback.
“It kept going back and forth there,” Welby said. “We had the lead, and then all of a sudden we gave it up. And our guys, they persevered.”In-depth high school sports coverage