Road playoff wins are always nice. Defeating a higher seed makes it even more special.
No. 10 Jehovah-Jireh led from start to finish in its 56-42 victory over No. 7 Reeves in a Class C regional boys basketball playoff game Tuesday.
No. 13 Doyle rallied from a 17-point deficit at the midpoint of the third quarter to a 66-65 Class 2A regional victory over No. 4 Welsh.
Doyle (26-8) travels to No. 5 North Caddo (26-3) for its quarterfinal game, while Jehovah-Jireh (23-9) hosts No. 2 Elizabeth (25-8) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Doyle, which trailed 35-27 at half, took its first lead with two minutes remaining. Clay Kleinpeter, who scored a game-high 25 points, had the winning layup for Doyle with 45 seconds remaining.
Doyle’s defense produced a steal and the offense stalled the ball. Kleinpeter missed a free throw with 14 seconds remaining.
Doyle’s defense again clamped down and Welsh was unable to get off a shot.
“We were thrilled to death to go in there and get a win,” Doyle coach Daniel Kennedy said. “In the fourth quarter, we really played well together and took care of the ball.”
Kleinpeter hit six 3-pointers in the game. Kyle Lewis added 19 points, Tyler Dawsey 12 and Akeem Bell eight for the Tigers.
Kennedy said North Caddo is a talented team.
“They’re big and athletic, and one of the better teams we’ve faced all year,” he said.
Jehovah-Jireh has three freshmen starters surrounded by eighth-grade point guard Jaron Davis and 6-foot-3 senior post Jeremiah Griffin.
Donald Johnson III, a 6-1 freshman, hit 4 of 6 3-pointers and scored a team-high 22 points for Jehovah-Jireh. Johnson scored 16 points in the first half and added seven assists.
“Donald Johnson’s maturity on the court and his basketball IQ is above normal (for a) freshman,” Jehovah-Jireh coach Dirk Ricks said. “What I love about this group of kids is their passion to play. They continue to work hard and fight in every ball game. Everyone stepped up their game. We’re excited to be in the quarterfinals, but we’re not satisfied.”
Ricks said Griffin and 6-2 freshman Trenton Pain played good interior defense against Reeves. The 5-foot-7 Davis also drew praise for his tough play with eight assists, seven points and five rebounds.
Ricks said his team will have to defend the entire court against Elizabeth.
“Elizabeth shoots the 3 ball well and they want to play fast,” he said. “This is another opportunity for our young team to gain experience and understand what it takes to compete in the playoffs.”