By Greg Perkins –
North Pointe may have had a seven foot center, but what the Falcons didn’t have was a bench that could keep up with a deeper Holbrook team, which essentially ran them off the floor in the second half of Monday night’s 71-55 quarterfinal win.
The Roadrunners were sparked by unheralded guard Bryson Keoni, who scorched the nets for 11 points in the opening quarter to help give Holbrook a two-point lead. The Falcons held the top-ranked Roadrunners to just 10 in the second period and went to the break knotted at 30-all.
In the third Torrian Epps came to life, netting 9 of his 17 points and propelling the Roadrunners to a 23-point quarter. Jalen Jackson chipped in with seven and Keoni added 5 to his total.
In the fourth, Holbrook made a path to the free throw line where the Roadrunners converted 12 of 18 attempts to put away the Falcons 71-55 and advance to the semifinal round for the second straight season.
Keoni led the Holbrook attack with 22 points. Epps added 17; Jackson, 15; Rashaun Baldwin, 10; Dakota Lester, 4; Seth Hadley, 2; and Sheldon Silversmith, 1. As a team, Holbrook made six three-point shots and went 15 for 22 at the charity stripe.
North Pointe’s Brandon McKinney led the Falcons with 16. Luke Stirvins added 15; Collin Weaver, 11; Phil Letbenner, 10; Manny Rave, 2; and Eins Tenic, 1. The Falcons made four three-point shots and went 11 for 15 at the line.
NP 18 12 11 14 55
Holbrook 20 10 23 18 71
Holbrook improved to 33-3 on the season and will face fourth seeded Thatcher at 8 o’clock tonight (Feb. 24) at Jobing.com arena in Glendale.
Thatcher rolled over 12th seeded Rio Rico on Monday afternoon, 62-40. Holbrook and Thatcher met earlier this season in early December at the Round Valley tournament, where the Birds won a close game 62-59. This time there is a whole lot more riding on the outcome. The Eagles also have an impressive mark of 29-3, with their only losses coming once to Holbrook and twice to second seeded Gilbert Christian.
The top four seeds all reached the semifinal round. No. 2 Gilbert Christian will match up with No. 3 Snowflake this afternoon.
If the Roadrunners advance to the title game, they would be looking for back-to-back state wins at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Holbrook School District officials closed schools today to allow fans to travel to the Valley to support the team.