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Jackson steps up in fourth, leads Clark boys past Centennial

Colby Jackson didn’t play up to his usual high standards during the Clark basketball team’s first three games of the season, and Chargers coach Chad Beeten let his senior point guard know it.

Jackson responded with a strong outing Saturday night.

Jackson drove the lane for a key basket with 48 seconds remaining, and Clark held off hard-charging Centennial 68-66 in the third-place game of the Legacy Tip-Off Classic.

“He hasn’t played that well this week, but in his defense, he’s only had about three practices so far,” Beeten said. “He’s had an injury-plagued season so far. He’s just getting his timing back … but he was finally good today, and that’s what we need out of him.”

Jackson scored nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and repeatedly hurt Centennial with dribble penetration. Carter Olsen led Clark (3-1) with 21 points.

The game was tied 63-63 with 2:03 remaining after Darrian Traylor’s driving layup for Centennial, but the defending Division I-A state champion Chargers scored five straight points to knock off one of the top teams in Division I.

Deshawn Wilson added 10 points for Clark, and teammate Keyshaun Webb had nine points and four rebounds to earn Beeten’s praise afterward.

“This is the kind of game you want to play in this part of the season,” Beeten said, “to finish a game like that against a really good team that is going to be murder in another few weeks when coach (Todd) Allen gets them going.”

Traylor had 25 points to lead Centennial (4-2), and Troy Brown scored 14 in the second half to go with seven rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Allen said several members of the team arrived 20 minutes late after the Bulldogs’ semifinal loss to Wasatch Academy (Utah), and none of Centennial’s regular starting five was on the floor to open the game. Clark jumped to a 10-1 and led by as many as 17 points in the first half.

Centennial chipped away at the deficit in the second half and tied the game 61-61 with 2:37 remaining when Brown found Garett Scheer (eight points) wide open along the baseline for a layup that capped a 9-0 run.

“We got a good, gritty win against a good team that’s got their best basketball ahead of them,” Beeten said.

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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