Allens step up, lift Centennial past Clark for tournament title

Most coaches consider themselves fortunate to have one player who can direct a comeback.

If that notion holds truth, Centennial boys basketball coach Todd Allen is sitting pretty.

Propelled by a fourth-quarter offensive uprising from Stanford-bound seniors Marcus Allen and Malcolm Allen, the No. 3 Bulldogs outlasted No. 2 Clark 79-74 Saturday in the championship game of the Legacy Tip-off Classic.

“They’re like two coaches on the floor,” Todd Allen said of the twin brothers, who combined for 23 fourth-quarter points. “They understand what we have around us. They understand the process. But, you know what, they believe in their teammates, and they make everyone better.”

Down by as many as eight points in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, Marcus Allen and Malcolm Allen fueled the Bulldogs’ comeback with a series of transition baskets and a stellar performance from the free-throw line. Marcus Allen finished with a game-high 34 points, and Malcolm Allen tallied 27 points.

“We’ve been playing together our whole lives,” Marcus Allen said. “… I know when he’s going to back-door cut; I know when he’s going to alley-oop. It’s a twin thing.”

Clark overcame six second-quarter turnovers, and sophomore Carter Olsen hit a 3-pointer as time expired in the half to put the Chargers up 30-29. Centennial endured a nearly five-minute scoring drought in the second quarter.

“We told our guys (at halftime) that Clark is the best team in Nevada,” Todd Allen said. “I said if we hang around, good things are going to happen for us.”

Sir Washington, who finished with a team-high 28 points, ignited the Chargers on a 14-0 run to end the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers and a three-point play as Clark went up by eight.

But Centennial scored the fourth quarter’s first 10 points, highlighted by tournament Most Valuable Player Marcus Allen’s steal and two-handed jam in the open court, to go up 54-52.

The Chargers never led again, as the Bulldogs converted 16 of 18 free throws.

Junior forward Diontae Jones had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Clark.

Contact reporter John W. Scafetta at jscafetta@reviewjournal.com or 702- 383-0430.

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