Scottsdale Christian had the best of everything for a period during Thursday’s second-round play of the 2A state boys basketball tournament.
The Eagles (31-1) shut down Tucson St. Gregory defensively for the better part of three quarters and got into their type of offense for slightly more than half the game in a convincing 50-31 win over St. Gregory at America West Arena Thursday morning to advance to the semifinal round.
Scottsdale Christian will play Desert Christian at 5 tonight at America West Arena. The Eagles defeated both teams during the regular season.
They utilized a stifling defense in Wednesday’s 51-26 win over Morenci in a first-round win, which fits coach Bob Fredericks’ blueprint for a state title.
"We’re keeping people under their seasonal averages," Fredericks said
"From my past experience, a hot defense, at this time of year, is probably a better thing than a hot offense, but we’d like to have both."
Tim Maiden and Alex Rogers led a balanced attack with 11 points each.
Chris Osborn added 10 and Kevin Coble and Nkem Ojougboh each scored seven for the Eagles, who hit 18-of-40 field goal attempts to St. Gregory’s 13-of-38.
The Eagles also held a 22-17 rebounding advantage.
St. Gregory held a 13-10 lead after one quarter before the Eagles got into their game. The 6-foot-9 Ojougboh scored off a three-point play and Rogers buried a 3-point shot at the end of the second quarter to give the Eagles a 26-18 lead at the half.
The Eagles began to pull away late in the third, a quarter that the held St. Gregory’s to 2-of-7 shooting in the quarter.
After penetrating the lane, Maiden hit a pair of free throws and Osborn hit a 3 before Maiden capped the quarter with a driving layup for a 40-23 Eagles lead.
Baskets by Coble and a slam by Osborn sandwiched around another 3 from Rogers accounted for a 7-0 Eagles’ run at the start of the fourth that put the game away.
"Offense wins games, but defense wins championships," Maiden said.
The Eagles defeated Desert Christian by six points early in the season and Fredericks said his team is in for a battle. "They defend very well," Fredericks said.
Tyler Wilkinson and Conor Cronin paced St. Gregory’s, the 2A Desert Region’s third seed, with 10 points each.
VALLEY CHRISTIAN 55, YUMA CATHOLIC 44:
Brian Roberts scored 19 points and Brian Botma added 15 as the host Trojans (27-5) beat the Shamrocks to advance to the state semifinals. Valley Christian will play Sells Baboquivari at 8:30 p.m. today at America West Arena.