Quartz Hill Gives Moore a Going-Away Gift, 74-65
With Quartz Hill High trailing by seven points in the third quarter of Friday’s Southern Section Division I-AA first-round basketball playoff game, a sense of doom enveloped a partisan full house at the Rebel Roundhouse.
The Rebels were playing host to their first playoff game and retiring Coach Don Moore was trying to win his first playoff game. But Royal bullied the Rebels, who seemed tentative and out of place.
However this Quartz Hill team refused to be spooked. Acting almost as much out of fear as rage, the Rebels busted the ghosts of games yesteryear with an electrifying 16-2 run en route to a 74-65 win.
Quartz Hill (21-4) advances in the playoffs for the first time in the school’s 26-year history and will face Alhambra on Tuesday in a second-round game.
“Just another game,” Moore grumped good-naturedly after the game. “I told these guys before the game, ‘Don’t win this thing for me, go out and win it for you.’ ”
All season, the Rebels have relied on the magic of guards Chris Young and Danny Prince and forward Denny Klein.
Quartz Hill was trailing, 46-39, with 3 minutes 15 second left in the third quarter. Part of the reason for that was the fact that the Rebels were unable to stop Royal guard David Tyner, who finished with a game-high 21 points.
But then Klein rebounded a Young miss and scored. From there, Prince rocked the house as if he were the hip Minnesota rocker himself.
He took an outlet pass and threw home a dunk that injected life into the crowd. Young nailed a three-point basket, then Prince made a steal and coast-to-coast layup to bring the score to 49-48 just before the end of the period.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. With Quartz Hill trailing, 51-48, Prince drilled a three-point basket then, after a steal, he made a cross-court bounce pass past two Highlanders to a driving Jerry Gaines, whose finger roll gave Quartz Hill its first lead since halftime.
Prince finished with 13 points and Klein with 14 points and seven rebounds, including 10 points from the free-throw line. Young led the Rebels with 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
“We just broke down in the fourth quarter,” Royal Coach Joe Malkinson said of the critical period in which Royal (18-10) was outscored, 26-14. “We got stale offensively and put them on the free-throw line and they made them.”