Seniors Jalen Johnson and Wayde Sims got going offensively in the second half to help power second-seeded University to its fourth straight trip to the Top 28.
Johnson scored 16 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as the Cubs defeated No. 7 De La Salle 67-45 Friday night in a Class 3A boys basketball quarterfinal game at University High.
Sims picked up his second foul in the first quarter with 1:44 left and didn’t play the rest of the half. Sims scored all seven of his points in the second half and had two strong dunks.
Senior Marshall Graves added 15 points for University (29-4).
Steven Kelly hit two 3-pointers and led De La Salle with 11 points. Josh Paul added eight points, and Amad Taylor six for the Cavaliers (28-6).
De La Salle led by as much as six points in the second quarter. There were five lead changes in the second quarter. The Cavaliers led 30-28 at halftime. University pulled away in the fourth quarter with a 19-8 scoring advantage.
“I thought we played very hard,” De La Salle coach Paul Kelly said. “We outcompeted them in the first half. Unfortunately, we didn’t make enough shots.”
Kelly said the size of 6-foot-8 Sims and 6-6 Johnson bothered his team. That duo combined for seven blocked shots. Johnson also hit four 3-pointers.
EDNA KARR 58, FAIR PARK 49: The third-seeded Cougars broke a 35-35 tie in the third quarter and kept No. 11 Fair Park at arm’s length the rest of the way in a Class 4A quarterfinal action.
Karr (24-12) salted the game away at the free throw line where it finished 23 of 30 for the game.
“Our defense was the key,” Karr coach Taurus Howard said of the second half surge. “We started limiting them to one shot.”
Guard Diamante Woolridge scored 13 to lead Karr, which will face No. 2 Washington-Marion in the semifinals. Also pitching in were Tyree Thompson with 11 and Vincent Phillips with 9.
Karr broke on top 18-4 in the first quarter before Fair Park’s defensive pressure began to take a toll. Fair Park (24-8) trailed 34-27 at the half before rallying to tie the score midway through the third quarter.
“They were a good, scrappy defensive team. They kept us off balance offensively,” Howard said. “Our kids kept their composure and started making plays in the second half.”
RIVERSIDE ACADEMY 81, DUNHAM 48: The No. 2 Rebels led early and steadily pulled away from No. 7 Dunham in Class 2A.
Seniors Herbert McGee and Malik Crowfield did most of the damage for Riverside (27-5). McGee had 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists while Crowfield finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Jordan Wright led Dunham (29-6) with 17 points. Tre Scott added four 3-pointers and 16 points.
“I wasn’t pleased with the first half,” Riverside coach Timmy Byrd said. “We missed some assignments and gave up some easy baskets but Dunham had something to do with that.
“I really liked the effort in the second half. We need to put four quarters together.”
Riverside advances to the semifinals to face No. 3 Country Day, its District 9 rival that split two games during the season.
“Its going to be an interesting game,” Byrd said.
“There won’t be any secrets.”