Scottsdale Chaparral played Glendale Apollo even most of the night but could not overcome a poor first quarter, falling 62-52 in the first round of the 4A-I boys state basketball tournament Tuesday in Glendale.
Sixth-seeded Apollo, winners of 11 of its last 12 games, scored three seconds into the game, spurring a 7-0 run and building a lead of as much as 14 in the opening quarter.
“That was our one bad quarter,” Chaparral coach Stephen Cervantez said. “I didn’t think we played bad overall, but you can’t do that against a team like them.”
Apollo guard Prince Amukamara was the catalyst during the stretch, consistently beating defenders off the dribble and either getting to the basket himself or finding open teammates.
Brad Weispieser was the main beneficiary of Amukamara’s play, scoring 10 points in the quarter, including two wide-open 3-pointers from the corner after the defense had collapsed.
Shayar Lee led Apollo with 18 points. Weispieser finished with 15 and Amukamara, who last week signed a letter of intent to play football at Nebraska, chipped in 14.
“(Amukamara) is really quick,” Cervantez said. “I didn’t have anyone who could stay in front of him.”
Chaparral got back in the game in the second quarter with its defense, holding Apollo to six points — all by Lee — but never got closer the rest of the way.
Nick Tooker led the Firebirds with 13 points.
The Hawks (23-6), who have won the last two state championships, will face Tucson Canyon del Oro at 7 p.m. Friday in the second round.
“We have as good a chance as anyone,” coach Mark Nold said. “The chemistry on the team is the big thing. This team has the best chemistry of any team I’ve ever had, including the championship teams.”