By Barry Wong
Canyon Springs guard Jordan Davis scored 17 points in a 79-62 Sunrise Region semifinal victory over Las Vegas on Thursday night, but the senior’s passing during a stretch in the third quarter may have decided the game.
With 4:43 remaining in the third, Las Vegas cut the lead down to one possession at 37-35. Davis answered a driving layup, then with a barrage of playmaking assists for the rest of the quarter. The Pioneers lead would increase back to double digits at the end of the quarter.
“When they were keying on me, I was finding everybody,” Davis said. “They were making plays tonight.”
The other Pioneer making plays was junior Channel Banks. He scored a game-high 27 points, including nine on three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
A Banks 3-pointer also ended a Wildcat run in the second quarter, after Las Vegas senior Patrick Savoy hit back-to-back three’s, including a four-point play on the second one.
“It just helped everything open up,” Davis said. “If he’s hitting shots and we’re getting to the rim, no one can stop us.”
Fellow Northeast League member Valley will try to stop the Pioneers next.
Valley topped Coronado 61-50 in the night’s other regional semifinal, a game that featured dramatic scoring runs from both sides.
The Cougars started strong first, outplaying Valley for the first 12 minutes on the way to a 20-9 lead. The Vikings answered during the final half of the second quarter with a 13-2 run to tie game at 22-22 at the half.
“We just took the momentum into the second half,” Valley head coach Brian Farnsworth said.
Valley scored the first 15 points of the third quarter, capping off a 28-2 run overall to take a 37-22 lead. A 3-pointer from Coronado junior Jake Desjardins broke the scoring drought at the 2:20 mark in the frame.
“Our kids turned it up on defense, which led to easy offense for us,” Farnsworth said.
Valley senior Cam Burton hit three 3’s in the quarter, and the Vikings led 44-29 going into the fourth. The cushion from the run plus fourth-quarter free throws held off a late Cougars run.
Burton led all scorers with 20, while Desjardins led Coronado with 18.
Valley won both regular-season games over Canyon Springs, 79-72 on Jan. 22 and 71-68 on Feb. 9. Tip-off for the third meeting and the Sunrise Region final is set for 7 p.m. on Friday night.
As expected, Bishop Gorman cruised into the Sunset Region championship game with a 93-52 win over Bonanza. The Gaels will face Palo Verde, a 75-72 upset winner over Centennial, in the title game at 7 p.m. at Arbor View High School.