GLENDALE – Salpointe Catholic boys basketball coach Brian Holstrom saw plenty of film to prove Phoenix Shadow Mountain could come to life at any time.
It was essentially preview of Wednesday night.
The No. 8 Matadors scored 35 points in the fourth quarter to rally past top-seeded Salpointe 75-66 at Jobing.com Arena, preventing the Lancers from getting back to the state semifinals for the second straight season. Shadow Mountain, the No. 2 team in the power rankings, will face fourth-seeded Cienega tonight at 7:45 p.m.
“There were several games they played that they were down a little bit and a couple of their guys hit some big shots,” Holstrom said. “They’re very athletic and they’re savvy. They’re young but they’ve been around the block, you can tell. They don’t make a whole lot of mistakes.”
The Lancers (24-7) led by as much as 10 in the third quarter and was up 46-40 heading into the final eight minutes. Senior Cameron Denson, who had been in foul trouble since the first quarter, sank a three pointer with 5:12 left in the fourth quarter to make it 55-46.
After that it was pretty much all Shadow Mountain.
Sophomore Michael Bibby, the son of former UA star Mike Bibby, sank a three-pointer to tie the game at 55 with 3:47 left. Then, 20 seconds later, Carlos Johnson hit a layup to give the Matadors their first lead.
Salpointe senior Hunter Lowry, who scored 10 points in the first half and finished with 16, made two free throws to tie the game at 55 with 3:15 left in the game but sophomore J.J. Rhymes quickly responded with a jumper from the left side to put the Matadors up for good.
“I had to play a different type of game because I had the fouls,” said Denson, who scored 16 points and fouled out with less than two minutes to go. “I couldn’t play my defense, I couldn’t really attack and I was watching for the charges. It changed my game entirely.”
Shadow Mountain made 19 of 24 free throws in the fourth quarter to pull away while Sapointe didn’t hit another basket until there was 1:29 left in the game and the Matadors were up nine.
Salpointe jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game and held a six-point advantage at the break. Shadow Mountain stayed close thanks to the play of Carlos Johnson who scored 17 of his game-high 26 points in the first half.
The Matadors took their only lead of the first half early in the second quarter when Bibby, who finished with 16 points, drained a three-pointer from the top for his only basket until the fourth quarter. Lowry put the Lancers back up 30 seconds later with a basket and then he made it 19-15 with a three from the left corner, in front of Shadow Mountain’s bench.