For the second straight night, foul trouble kept McDonald’s All-American point guard Daishen Nix on the bench for nearly half the game, but Trinity International nonetheless advanced to the championship game of Alaska Airlines Classic.
The Las Vegas team outlasted the Dillard Panthers of Florida 47-46 in Friday’s first semifinal game at West High. In the late semifinal, Dimond hammered West 66-40 behind 23 points from senior guard Isaiah Moses.
Moses knocked down three 3-pointers and added four assists and three steals for the Lynx, who limited West to 24.5% shooting for the game and 14 points in the first half. Isaiah Grant added 13 points and nine rebounds and Zach Jenkins pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Lynx shot 45.8% for the game and was never in trouble, leading 16-5 after the first quarter and 38-14 at the half.
Dimond and Trinity will square off at 7 p.m. Saturday at West High in a game that will feature opposing stars — Nix and Moses — who used to be teammates back in their middle school days.
Nix, who lived in Anchorage through the eighth grade, played 17 of the game’s 32 minutes Friday. Though he was limited to six points, four rebounds and one assist, the Thunder got 13 points apiece from Quentin Lowery and Jan Njock to survive.
The game was so physical it had as many fouls as field goals — 37 of both. Three of Trinity’s seven players finished with four fouls apiece and one of Dillard’s starters fouled out.
Ten of the fouls were player-control fouls, and it was an offensive foul that helped decide the game at the end.
Dillard’s Jalen Haynes, who racked up 34 points in Thursday’s 68-54 win over East, was called for a charge while powering to the hoop with less than one second to go.
That gave the ball to Trinity, which in-bounded it with 0.1 left on the clock to secure the win.
Trinity was scoreless for more than two minutes at the end of the game. Njock hit a jumper with 2:32 to go for a 47-40 lead, but the Thunder didn’t score again.
Dillard ended with a 6-0 run that included four points from Ivan Reynolds, including a two-handed dunk.
Earlier on Friday, the East T-birds and Barrow Whalers bounced back from first-round losses to win consolation games.
Damarion Delaney scored a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining to lift the T-birds to a 50-47 victory over defending champion Colony, and Barrow used 19 points and six assists from Brendan Matthews to edge Juneau 69-64.
In the East win, Hasaan Herrington led his team with 16 points, and he and Levi Carlino combined to score all of their team’s 16 third-quarter points. Herrington was coming off a huge 35-point night in the loss to Dillard. Brayden Maldonado added 10 points.
Three players hit double figures for Colony — Colton Spencer (16), Patrick McMahon (15) and Jeremiah Hersrud (10).
In Barrow’s win, Matthews was joined in double figures by Anthony Fruan, who had a 13-point, 11-rebound game, and Blaine Texiera, who hit three triples on his way to 13 points.
Juneau got a big boost from Cooper Kriegmont, who led the Crimson Bears for the second straight day. He had 27 points Friday and 25 Saturday.
Alaska Airlines Classic
Dimond 66, West 40 (semifinal)
Trinity 47, Dillard 46 (semifinal)
East 50, Colony 47 (consolation)
Barrow 69, Juneau 64 (consolation)
2:30 p.m. — Juneau vs. Colony (7th place)
4 p.m. — Barrow vs. East (4th place)
5:30 p.m. — Dillard vs. West (3rd place)
7 p.m. — Trinity vs. Dimond (championship)