Clark boys basketball coach Chad Beeten knows strong defense doesn’t go cold, and even in a game his team isn’t shooting well, defense can lead to a win.
That was the case on Saturday.
The Chargers shot 19-for-54 (35.2 percent) in the first three quarters but still managed a 67-54 win over Eldorado in the Las Vegas Prep Showcase at South Point Arena.
“We’re trying to make our staple the whole year defense,” Beeten said. “And we kept them right where we wanted them to be. Everybody knew if we held teams in the 50s we’re going to be tough to beat, because by accident we can score in the 60s. We’ve got enough good players even when we’re not shooting well.”
While the team was struggling as a whole, junior forward Sherron Wilson did his best to help Clark hold a lead. Wilson was 6-for-12 from the field, including 3-for-5 on 3-pointers, in scoring a team-high 17 points.
“That was huge when two of our leading scorers didn’t have their best offensive game,” Beeten said. “That’s part of being a team that we keep talking about: working together.”
As cold as Clark (16-1) was, Eldorado (8-7) was even colder. The Sundevils were 7-for-27 from the field in the first half. If not for Jayveon Brown, the Chargers might have put away the game early. But Brown scored 17 of Eldorado’s 21 points in the first half to keep the Sundevils within 29-21. Brown was 5-for-7 from the field in the half, including 4-for-6 on 3-pointers.
“I think he had 17 of their 21 or something ridiculous,” Beeten said. “It’s funny, because he hit shots that were tough shots after the first two that he made that were wide open. We tell guys all the time, if you let guys get off and get going early, they’re going to make tough shots all night long.
“We just let him get going early. But we still only gave up 21 in the first half.”
Eldorado hung around, and the Sundevils were within 47-42 after a bucket by Dwayne Tillman with 7:05 to play.
But Carter Olsen answered with a three-point play, and the Chargers held a comfortable margin from there.
Sir Washington and Malcolm Davis each added 11 points for Clark, and Olsen scored 10. Diontae Jones added nine points, 12 rebounds, four assists, four steals and a blocked shot for the Chargers.
Brown scored 27 points, and D.J. Billingsley had 11 points and six rebounds for Eldorado. Billingsley missed much of the first half after picking up his second foul with 2:57 to go in the first quarter.