ST. DAVID — The St. David boys basketball team is headed to the state semifinals. The Tigers defeated No. 5 Ray High School 87-80 in St. David on Tuesday night.
Both teams won their quarterfinal games on Friday. Ray defeated Basis Flagstaff 73-48 on Friday to advance and travel to St. David.
St. David posted a 77-32 first-round win over Joseph City on Friday night. The Tigers dominated the Wildcats from the opening tip and built momentum throughout the game. Seniors Kason Jacquez and Reo Larson led the Tigers. Jacquez had 19 points and Larson scored 18.
The Tigers were ahead 61-29 heading into the final eight minutes so the fourth quarter was played with a running clock. Matteo Carrafa had seven points in the fourth quarter off the bench for the Tigers. He finished with nine points.
Tuesday’s game between No. 4 St. David and No. 5 Ray was a much closer battle. The Tigers leapt to a 5-0 lead before Ray scored its first bucket. St. David pushed its lead to 10-2 with 6:12 left in the first quarter. Ray rallied and took its first lead of the game 11-10 with 4:59 on the clock. Ray extended their lead to 14-10 with 4:27 remaining in the first quarter. St. David pulled within one point with a putback by Larson. Jacquez hit two free throws to give the Tigers the 19-17 advantage with 58 seconds left in the quarter. Ray drilled a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc at the buzzer to lead 23-21 at the end of the first quarter.
The teams went back and forth to start the second quarter. Kydin Richardson gave the Tigers a 35-33 lead three minutes into the quarter. Jacob Goodman scored in transition to give the home team a 39-35 lead with 4:17 left in the half. Larson scored 14 points in the second quarter to give the Tigers a 55-41 advantage at halftime.
The third quarter was another strong showing for the Tigers offense. St. David had a response every time, including in the fourth quarter. St. David’s offense stalled in the fourth quarter, which allowed Ray to pull within three points, 83-80, with less than a minute left. Two buckets by Payton Dixon sealed the victory for the Tigers.
Larson led the Tigers with 33 points Tuesday night. Dixon had 16 points.
St. David will head to Phoenix on Saturday to play No. 1 North Valley Christian Academy. The winner will advance to the state championship game.