Mesa High School advanced to its own tournament championship game with a dominating performance Wednesday night.
The Jackrabbits overpowered and outran Gilbert High, 78-46 in a semifinal contest of the Fear the Hop invitational at Mesa High School.
The win sets up a showdown with Chandler Hamilton Saturday night at 7p.m.
Hamilton — a 5A-I state semifinalist last season — knocked off Corona del Sol in an earlier semifinal contest.
Mesa point guard Jahii Carson led the offensive attack with 26 points and six assists for the Jackrabbits, who never trailed in the game and cruised to a 45-25 halftime cushion.
“I’m very pleased with the way we played tonight,” Mesa coach Shane Burcar said afterward. “Gilbert is always a well coached team, and they’ve had our number the last few years. So anytime you can play well against it team like that it makes you feel pretty good.”
Forward Danny Powell was a consistent presence down low for Mesa, as he added 17 points and eight rebounds.
Mohamad Sobh added 14 points for the Jackrabbits, including seven in the third quarter, when Mesa had built up a 30-point lead.
Shawn King led Gilbert with 15 points, but early foul trouble sent King to the bench during the first half, giving Mesa a defensive edge.
“When (King) picked up two fouls early on, it was obviously an advantage for us and it made things easier defensively,” Burcar said.
Hamilton beats Corona del Sol
Chandler Hamilton defeated Corona del Sol, 64-58 in a semifinal contest at the Mesa High basketball invitational Wednesday night.
Hamilton used a balanced attack, led by Jack Cone's 19 points. Jerry Harville scored 12 and Eric Jacobsen added 11 for the Huskies, who will play Mesa Saturday night in the championship game.
Corona del Sol was led by David Whitmore with a game high 24 points.