D3 boys hoops: VC, Y. Catholic, Show Low, Cortez win

February 26, 2014 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

No. 3 Yuma Catholic got clutch all-around play in the fourth quarter from guard Carter Rodriguez to cap a huge rally Wednesday and knock off No. 6 Combs, 76-72, in Divison III boys basketball quarterfinal at Tim;s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

Rodriguez, who sat out half the third period after picking up his fourth foul, managed to avoid a fifth foul in the final period and lead the Shamrocks to the semifinals. Rodriguez netted 22 points and found a way to fee post Matt Pistone inside for baskets. Pistone finished with 21 points. Julian Jones (16 points) and Treyshon Malone (10) added production off the bench.

The game was tied at 70 with 51 seconds left when Rodriguez made a three-point play on a drive to the basket for a 73-70 lead. He added three more free throws to shut down Combs in the final seconds.

Combs (23-10) was led by Sherron Brooks 24 points, 13 of which came in the first period when Combs raced to a 25-10 lead late in the quarter. Drew Johnson and Nate Duhaney added 13 points for Combs. Carter Aby also reached double figures with 11.

Yuma Catholic (22-4) moves on to the semifinals on Friday (Feb. 28) to face Valley Christian, a 54-49 winner over Tuba City at 4:30 p.m. at Jobing.com Arena.

VALLEY CHRISTIAN 54, TUBA CITY 49:  While close to the very end, No. 2 Valley Christian's a 16-5 edge in the second period allowed it to take the lead for good and outlast No. 10 Tuba City behind the combined 44 points of seniors TJ Widner, Brandon Haagsma and Cory Kasperson.

Valley Christiain took better than a quarter to establish its inside game with Widner (17 points), who scored 11 points in the second period and struggled with foul trouble the rest of the way. Haagsma (14 points) sank four of VC's six 3s, including two big ones in the final period. Kasperson (13 points) had a put back and four free throws in the final 33 seconds to salt away the victory

Valley Christian (23-8) had its biggest lead, 33-24, with 3:35 left in the third period. Tuba City gradually cut the margin pulling to within 39-37 thanks to a 10-point fourth quarter by Tuba's Tyler Johnson. Tyler Johnson and Christian Begody led Tuba City (27-5) with 12 points each. Tristin Begay added 11.

"TJ wasn't real active in the first quarter and we ended up taking shots from outside," Valley Christian coach Greg Haagsma said. "We moved Brandon to the middle and kept TJ in the low block. That's where he was most effective. I think the second quarter was where the game was won.",

Haagsman and Widner average 30 points a game between them and they were spot on netting 31 between them. A fourth senior starter for VC, Zach Wolf, scored on a pair of strong drives to the basket for important fourth-quarter points. Those were his lone points of the game.

CORTEZ 89, CHINLE 84: Octavius Holguin scored 29 points, 17 in the second half, as No. 9 Cortez upended top-seed Chinle in a wild race-horse game.Cortez senior Danny Cervantes' steal and layup with 1:07 left  gave the Colts the lead for good (85-84) after Chinle's Ty Francisco buried a 3 for an 84-82 lead with 2:06 to go. Chinle would not score again and turned the ball over four times -- three times in the final 34 seconds with a chance to tie or go ahead. Cervantes finished with 18 points and teammates Avery Smith (13) and Davon MacBeth (10) were the other Colts in double figures.

Cortez (24-3) advances to the semifinals on Friday to face Show Low at  8 p.m. at Jobing.com Arena. Chinle (26-6), which trailed much of the second, third and fourth quarters after bolting to a 19-12 lead late in the first, was led in scoring by Wyatt Tuni with 26 points. Francisco had 19, Sooner Brady 17 and Kevin Yazzie 15. Chinle made 11 3s in the game.

SHOW LOW 61, BENSON 48: No. 5 Show Low outscored No. 4 Benson, 38-19, in the second half to reverse a haltime deficit and win going away.

Show Low's Sean Potter scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the second half and made 8 of 10 free throws to pace the Cougars rally from a 29-23 halftime deficit. Jackson Jessop added 13 points and Sam Tate had 12 points.

Show Low (23-12) advances to the semifinals Friday (Feb. 28) to face Cortez at 8 p.m. at Jobing.com Arena.

Benson (26-5) was led by Sean Brogan with 18 points, including three 3s. Dante Britton finished with 10, but did not score in the second half off the bench for the Bobcats.