Colin Jones’ huge night has Holt heading to the regional finals.
Jones scored 27 points and dominated the boards at both ends of the court to lead Holt to a comfortable 73-61 win over Kalamazoo Loy Norrix in their Class A regional semifinal game at Richland Gull Lake on Monday night.
Loy Norrix’s first regional appearance in 10 years seemingly ended before it began.
Tyrell Williams scored 15 points and DonQuall Jackson added 12 for the Rams, who jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter and were never really threatened the rest of the way.
Holt coach Matt Essell said that Jones has taken his team on his back in the postseason.
“He’s been amazing in the last three (games),” Essell said. “This is what we’ve expected from him all year. It seems like he’s really locked in, and he’s doing everything we’re asking of him right now.”
Jones scored early and often, starting with Holt’s first two baskets, both from 3-point range.
The second of those began a 17-3 run that gave the Rams a 20-7 advantage with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
Jones said that hitting the early 3s got the ball rolling for him.
“Sometimes I struggle, but my outside shot was falling, so I kept shooting it,” Jones said.
Donte Jackson and Trevor Stone also had 3-pointers in that run for Holt, which never trailed in the game again.
Essell said his team played a nearly perfect game.
“It’s pretty close,” he said. “There are always times when we’re a little more impatient than we need to be offensively.
“I thought that we could get a layup in the paint if we just swung it a few times, but the last three games have been the hardest we’ve played all year, and probably as well as we’ve played all year.”
Loy Norrix cut the deficit to six points late in the first half, but that would be as close as they would get.
Jones’ last 3 of the game, an extra-long bomb with 4:53 left in the fourth quarter, gave the Rams a safe 61-44 lead.
Jones said that the Rams have a score to settle in Wednesday’s regional final against Grand Rapids Christian.
“This is huge,” Jones said. “We took a loss to Christian in the summer, so we really wanted to play them again.
“We lost by one, and we want to prove that we’re better now.
“I like our matchup against them, and I’m ready for it.”