GREAT FALLS -- The Red Devils found themselves in a very unusual position early in the second quarter during the second-round of the Class-A state playoffs.
The Red Devils found themselves behind on the scoreboard as Greenville Tech used the torrid shooting of forward Rashad Humbert to grab a 21-16 lead early in the second quarter.
However, the Red Devils met that challenge with an 11-3 run to end the first half, and then, a 9-0 spurt early in the fourth quarter to hold off the Warriors, 64-56, Saturday at the Great Falls gymnasium.
Forward Torrey Craig gave Great Falls plenty of energy during the early rally, scoring 11 of the 13 Red Devils' second-quarter points. Craig got to every loose ball, cleaned up on the offensive boards and was in a zone underneath with either power layups or medium-range jumpers.
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"Coach told me to get more physical, so I concentrated on crashing the boards," Craig said about his second-quarter explosion.
That gave Great Falls enough energy for a 6-0 spurt to start the fourth. The Warriors pulled to within eight, but a Jeremy Simpson jumper completed an 7-2 run that propelled the Red Devils to victory and into the Upper State semifinals on Wednesday night against Calhoun County, the defending Class-A state champions.
• DIXIE 49, LEWISVILLE 47 -- In Due West, Dixie's All-State senior guard Yavario Smith carried his team's offensive burden for most of the night.
But in the game's waning moments, it was another of the Hornets' nine seniors that lifted Dixie to a victory.
Forward Kortney Clinkscales made three critical free throws down the stretch and grabbed two of his game-high 10 rebounds in the last minute of a 49-47 Hornets win, moving the team to the Upper State semifinals.
"We've been waiting for Kortney to play like that all year long, and he came up big for us," Dixie assistant coach Ralph Patterson said. "We need that in him. He's capable of doing that and we don't win without him.
"He came through for us down here at the offensive end and got huge rebounds on that end, and that's really just who wants it the most. Tonight, he did."