By Greg Perkins –
The Roadrunners proved quite worthy of their No. 1 ranking with a relatively easy 70-55 win over eighth seeded Snowflake in the quarterfinal round of the 3A state playoffs on Tuesday night in Prescott Valley.
Holbrook advanced in the first round, cruising past Sedona, then kept the momentum rolling in the first period against the Lobos. Torrian Epps came off the bench and sparked the Roadrunners with eight of his team high 19 points, helping the Birds open up a nine-point first period lead. Holbrook’s defense, which has really progressed in the final couple weeks of the season, limited Snowflake to just four second quarter points, while on offense Ilacian Johnson dropped in eight, giving the Roadrunners a 34-12 halftime lead.
Snowflake made a push in the third period, outscoring the Birds by 11, but Holbrook quickly regained the momentum in the fourth to pull out to a 24-point lead midway through the period. Snowflake cut into the lead a little, but Holbrook’s reservation in the final four had already been secured.
Just six Holbrook players scored, but four of them were in double figures. Epps led with 19, while Jalen Jackson added 14, Kory Koerperich and Ilacian Johnson both added 12, Rashaun Baldwin hit for 9 and Bryson Keoni added 4.
Snowflake was led by Trent Hall with a game high 21 points. Michael Bonham added 11, Chase Walden, 9, Trevor Reddick, 4, Derek Flake, John Ballard and Colton Richards, 3 each, and Jake Shumway, 1.
Snowflake 8 4 23 20 55
Holbrook 17 17 12 24 70
Holbrook will now face fourth seeded Winslow in today’s (Feb. 25) second semifinal contest, which is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. at Jobing.com arena in Glendale. Winslow defeated Blue Ridge by 10 earlier in the day. Fountain Hills and Monument Valley will square off in the other semifinal game at 4:15 p.m. today. For the first time in several years, the North Region has three boys teams in the final four and is guaranteed at least one team in the championship game.