Clark established itself early and never was threatened in the Class 4A boys state basketball quarterfinals Wednesday at Arbor View High School.
But the Chargers have no time to celebrate.
Jalen Hill had 19 points and seven rebounds as Clark rolled to a 55-40 win over Desert Pines in a game that ended about 9:30 p.m. The Chargers (24-5) take the court at 3 p.m. Thursday at Orleans Arena in a semifinal game against Northern Region champion Bishop Manogue (26-3).
“It’s a tough one, but we’ll get rested and play at 3,” Hill said. “We’ve got to go have film and a shootaround and scout them.”
The Chargers used a 9-0 run early in the first quarter to take the lead and extended their advantage to 39-18 at halftime.
“We warmed up hard, executed really well, and in the first half everybody got a lot of touches,” Hill said.
Hill and Cameron Kimble each scored 12 points in the first half. Clark hit seven first-half 3-pointers, including four by Kimble, against the Desert Pines’ zone defense.
“We were just making great passes,” Hill said. “Guys were setting up each other to get great shots, and we were knocking them down. We were shot ready.”
The second half wasn’t as kind to the Chargers, who were 5-for-26 from the field after halftime, including 3-for-17 in the third quarter.
“I don’t know what we looked like in the second half, a bunch of middle school kids out there the second half,” Clark coach Chad Beeten said. “You’ve just got to move on. You can’t dwell on it, you can’t practice, you’ve just got to prepare for tomorrow afternoon.”
Frankie Collins had 12 points and five rebounds for Clark, and Antwon Jackson had 11 rebounds.
“We want to get to the state title game and win it all,” Hill said. “Same goal as every year. With everybody on this team, we have a real good chance.”
Milos Uzan scored 16 points to lead Desert Pines (23-8). Starting junior center Darnell Washington didn’t suit up for the Jaguars.
Arbor View gets first state win
Hot shooting helped Arbor View take the lead in its first state tournament game in program history, but defense secured a 72-56 win over Spanish Springs in the 4A quarterfinals.
The Aggies (23-8) will face seven-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman (26-4) in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Orleans Arena.
After the Cougars (23-6) closed to within a point to start the third quarter, Arbor View limited Spanish Springs to two third-quarter baskets to take control.
“We just had to stay calm and lock in on defense,” Aggies senior guard Tyre Williams said. “They were just making their little run. We knew that it was going to stop.”
Arbor View led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter, but the Cougars closed the half on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 31-29.
After a free throw by Leo Grass to start the second half cut the lead to one point, Arbor View answered with a 10-2 run.
“We weren’t trying to lose,” said Aggies junior guard Donovan Yap, who had 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. “We were trying to get to the next round. We were all just playing for each other.”
Williams was 5-for-5 from the field and scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half. Favor Chukwukelu scored 11 for Arbor View, which made 5 of 10 3-pointers in the first quarter and 10 of 22 for the game.
“Our shots haven’t been falling,” Williams said. “Today they were falling. When our shots are falling, nobody can beat us.”
Mason Whittaker had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Cordell Stinson had 13 points and nine rebounds for Spanish Springs.