PRESCOTT VALLEY – There was no comeback this time.
No. 9-seed Chandler Valley Christian was too big, too poised and too prepared to let 16th-seed Show Low pull off another upset.
After Show Low trimmed a 20-point deficit to eight early in the final period, Valley Christian patiently got the ball into its big man, T.J. Widner, who scored inside twice and helped power his team to a 58-44 Division III boys basketball quarterfinal victory Monday night at Tim’s Toyota Center.
Valley Christian (22-9) advances to Friday’s 8 p.m. semifinal against Snowflake at Glendale’s Jobing.com Arena.
Show Low rallied from 11 down in the final quarter to knock off top-seeded Fort Defiance Window Rock in the late game Saturday night in Flagstaff.
“I kind of feel we were a little emotionally hung over,” Show Low coach Troy Cooke said. “We came out and the first couple of minutes we had heavy legs. We weren’t really moving it. We were in trouble from the start.”
Valley Christian pressed Show Low from the start, and guard Brock Temple got hot. Temple made three 3-pointers, helping Valley Christian build a 33-18 halftime lead.
Valley Christian got it to 38-18 early in the third quarter on 6-foot-5, 230-pound Widner’s two free throws and 6-foot-5 wing Aaron Mouer’s jumper.
“We thought our ball movement surprised them a little bit in the 1-2-2 zone,” Valley Christian coach Greg Haagsma said. “And them just going a little bit faster than maybe they would have wanted to. We were able to spread them a lot.”
Show Low (20-13), a comeback team all year, had one more run in it.
Guard Sean Potter hit two 3-pointers in the final 48 seconds of the third quarter to make it a 10-point game.
Show Low cut it to eight on 6-8 forward Jackson Jessop’s drive to start the final quarter. It had a chance to cut it to seven moments later after 6-5 Morgan Jessop scored as he was fouled. He missed the free throw with 6:08 left, and Show Low got no closer.
Potter made one more 3 — his fourth of the half — with 2:41 left to cut it to nine, but Valley Christian took care of the ball and cashed in at the foul line, making six free throws to keep Show Low from threatening again.
“I can’t believe it was an easy deal for them to win a game against Window Rock that didn’t end until about 9:30 at night,” Haagsma said. “They had a day and a half off and had to come back. There’s no easy way of getting through that.”