Centennial’s Eddie Davis shot the Bulldogs into an early lead on Thursday, hitting his first three 3-pointers.
And his last proved to be a dagger for Arbor View.
Davis finished with six 3-pointers and 22 points to help Centennial to a 74-60 win over Arbor View in the Sunset Region boys basketball semifinals at Durango.
“He’s been hitting those all year long,” Centennial coach Todd Allen said. “And when he’s on, he’s deadly. He really gave us a spark.”
Davis hit three 3-pointers in the first 4:07 of the game to get Centennial (25-3) going. But his biggest shot may have been his last 3-point attempt.
Arbor View’s Terrell Butler had just hit two free throws to cut the Centennial lead to 60-53 with 3:03 to play. But the Bulldogs broke the Aggies’ press, and found Davis wide open on the right wing for a transition 3-pointer that pushed the lead back to double-digits.
Centennial also got a boost from 6-foot-6-inch junior Garrett Scheer, who finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
“Last time we played, Garrett got in foul trouble and he didn’t even score,” Allen said. “So we told him he’s got to be a big factor today and he stepped up for us.”
Khalil Thompson missed his first seven field goals and two free throws, but finished with 21 points. Thompson was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs.
“Down the stretch, he showed some great leadership that we needed,” Allen said. “He struggled in the beginning, but you know what, they kept fighting.”
Freshman Troy Brown added 11 points and 10 rebounds despite picking up his second foul in the first quarter and spending most of the first half on the bench. Brown didn’t score in the first half, but Centennial still led 31-30 at the break.
“I really thought the key was the boys hung tough until the half and we could get Troy back in the game,” Allen said. “These kids, they just don’t quit.”
The win pushed Centennial into the championship game at 7 p.m. Friday against Bishop Gorman.
The Gaels have beaten Centennial twice this season.
“This is big,” Allen said. “That team, they had two losses all year long. It’s just a big win for us. It gives us a chance to go up against Gorman again, and we’ll try to give it our best shot tomorrow night.”
Butler led Arbor View (23-3) with 19 points, and Justin Burks scored 16, seven fewer than his season average. The Aggies averaged 79.1 points entering the game.
“We just kept switching defenses on them, and we were hoping that was going to slow them, and it did,” Allen said.
“To keep them at 60 is just really amazing.”
Bishop Gorman 74, Durango 46 — The Gaels used a strong second-half burst to put away the Trailblazers.
Gorman limited Durango to just six points in the third quarter on 3-for-17 shooting to push a nine-point halftime lead to 57-31 at the end of three quarters.
“We talked at halftime about being more physical and just playing through stuff,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “And just attacking the basket. We didn’t want to settle for jump shots. In the first half we settled for a lot of jump shots. Our goal is always to work inside out.”
Nick Blair had eight of his game-high 18 points in the third quarter for Gorman. Much of that came in transition and was facilitated by point guard Noah Robotham, who had five of his seven assists in the quarter.
“He’s our leader, a four-year varsity guy, a captain,” Rice said of Robotham. “He’s starting to get he recognition he deserves. Noah was big.”
So was Gorman’s defense on Darryl Gaynor, who had 30 points in Wednesday’s quarterfinals and was the area’s leading scorer in the regular season with a 25.4 average.
The Gaels limited Gaynor to nine points, and the senior guard was just 2-for-15 from the field.
“We really wanted to make it difficult for Darryl,” Rice said. “We know what a great player he is and the leading scorer in the city. I told the guys before the game, ‘if he gets 20 or 30, that’s fine, but let’s make him work for them.’ And our defense really stepped up to that challenge.”
Chase Jeter and Robotham each had 14 points for Gorman. Jeter had 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Robotham added four steals.
Victor Ross paced Durango with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Vee Price and Alex Arias each scored 10 for the Trailblazers.