PRESCOTT VALLEY – Top-ranked Glendale Joy Christian had no trouble advancing to the quarterfinals of the Division IV boys state basketball tournament Saturday evening.
Joy Christian advanced with a convincing 66-37 win over 17th-seeded Phoenix Valley Lutheran at Tim’s Toyota Center. Joy Christian will take on No. 9 Duncan Thursday night at 7:30 at Tim’s Toyota Center. Duncan topped No. 8 Yuma Catholic 77-67 Saturday.
It was the second time Joy Christian (29-2) had defeated Valley Lutheran (14-18). Joy Christian posted an 80-38 win over Valley Lutheran on Jan. 19.
Joy Christian’s Trevor Deason had the hot hand early with three 3-point shots in the first quarter alone and finished with a game-high 21 points. Teammate Taliq Medley scored 15.
Aaron Koehne paced Valley Lutheran with 12 points.
Deason’s early hot hand lifted Joy Christian to a 16-8 lead after one quarter. Deason added seven more in the second quarter to help Joy Christian to a 41-23 halftime lead.
“We had shots falling early and that sometimes isn’t that good as you sometimes stand around a little bit on both ends of the floor,” Joy Christian coach Scott Brown said. “I thought Valley Lutheran did a very good job of making us move the ball around the floor.”
Joy Christian put the game away early in the third. Jeremiah April scored from in close before Cody Nicely and Deason hit consecutive 3s to help open a 51-23 lead.
“It was our first game of the tournament and their second,” Brown said. “I thought they came in here more relaxed. Sometimes you get that No. 1 hanging over your head and you come in a little bit tight. We kept fighting and finding a lineup that worked. Our kids are very unselfish.”