Desert Oasis senior Kamari Burnside took a hard fall late in the first half on Tuesday at Arbor View, and it looked like his night might be over.
Burnside banged his head on the play, but not only did he return to the game after being cleared by the athletic trainer, but he saved his team’s season.
The guard scored 19 of his team-high 23 points in the second half as the Diamondbacks held on for a 77-76 win over the Aggies in the Sunset Region quarterfinals.
“I just wanted to win,” Burnside said. “I couldn’t let my team lose. I didn’t want to let them down. I had to step up.”
Burnside was 6-for-6 from the field in the fourth quarter and 9-for-10 in the second half.
“He was making shots, and he took control of the game and made it happen,” Desert Oasis coach Joseph Bedowitz said.
Burnside also made things happen with his defense, coming up with six steals, including a pair in the final 1:30 to help pull out the win.
With the game tied at 73, Burnside stole the ball, then pulled up and hit a 15-foot jumper with 1:04 left to give the Diamondbacks (20-9) the lead for good.
He added a dunk after taking a baseball pass from Jacob Heese with 15 seconds remaining to push the lead to four, and Desert Oasis allowed the Aggies to hit an uncontested 3-pointer in the closing seconds for the final margin.
“In the second half we came out, we applied some pressure, we put a few traps out there and that just changed the whole dynamic of the game,” Bedowitz said.
Nate Van scored 22 points, and Heese had 18 of his 19 points in the second half for Desert Oasis, which plays Bishop Gorman (25-4) in the semifinals at 5:40 p.m. on Thursday at Legacy.
“This was our 20th win. And it’s the first time in DO history that we got 20,” Bedowitz said. “That was something that we were looking at coming into this game. We got there, and now we’re trying to get 21.”
Jarrod Burks had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead Arbor View (18-9), but fouled out with 5:19 to play. Comillion Smith added 14 points, and Larry Holmes scored 12 for the Aggies.
Bishop Gorman 72, Cimarron-Memorial 57 — At Gorman, Jamal Bey led four players in double figures with 15 points as the Gaels advanced by beating the Spartans.
Noah Taitz had 14 points, Will McClendon scored 11, and Zaon Collins supplied 10 points, six assists and four steals for Gorman, which outscored Cimarron 24-13 in the fourth quarter.
Cimarron’s Brian Washington had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Brian Lang added 14 points for the Spartans (19-8).
Clark 66, Centennial 60 — At Clark, Jalen Hill scored 22 points to help lift the Chargers over the Bulldogs.
Antwon Jackson had 12 points, and teammate James Bridges added 11 for Clark (21-6), which plays Faith Lutheran (22-5) in the other semifinal at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Legacy.
Ishon Hardin scored a game-high 27 points to lead Centennial (15-11).
Faith Lutheran 69, Sierra Vista 58 — At Faith Lutheran, Dalton Kincaid had 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Crusaders downed the Mountain Lions.
Elijah Kothe added 18 points and 14 rebounds, Jaylen Fox had 12 points and Brevin Walter scored 11 for Faith Lutheran, which outscored Sierra Vista 19-6 in the decisive fourth quarter.
Mathias Aaiva tallied 17 points, and teammate Maitland Williams scored 11 for Sierra Vista (12-15).