City had brief spurts of quality offense and defense in the first half of Thursday's Class 3A North quarterfinal boys basketball game against Digital Harbor, but the Knights were unable to put everything together to shake the visiting Rams.
The second half was different.
With swift ball movement on offense and pressure on defense, the No. 8 Knights methodically broke down Digital Harbor for a 70-52 win to advance to the regional semifinals.
City, which improved to 19-5 on the season, will return to its home court Tuesday to take on Aberdeen, which beat Hereford, 59-33, on Thursday.
Getting there, the Knights got a game-high 25 points from Omari George and 14 from Tim Bond. A 25-point third quarter turned a two-point halftime lead into a commanding 48-30 advantage.
"We were able to attack the 1-3-1 zone they were putting up a little better, got some easier buckets, which allowed us to turn it up defensively. I think that was the difference in the game," City coach Daryl Wade said.
The Knights led, 29-27, when George hit a 3-pointer with 4:38 left in the third quarter to begin a decisive 19-3 run that increased the lead to 18 points going into the fourth quarter.
Forward John Grant, who had eight of his 12 points in the third quarter, scored on consecutive possessions. George scored seven more points during the run, and Bond had a steal that turned into a three-point play to put the game away.
In a region that also features No. 4 Milford Mill and defending Class 3A state champion Patterson, Wade is making sure his Knights are keeping an eye on what's directly in front of them.
"We're just trying to move on game by game, not looking forward to anything in particular. It's a good region — especially with the three city schools and Milford Mill. There's parity, so anybody can pull it out," Wade said.
William Robinson led Digital Harbor with 15 points, and Corey Mendez added 13.
Class 3A North
8 City 70, Digital Harbor 52
DH – Robinson 15, Mendez 13, Thomas 7, Turner-Cox 4, Williams 2, Do. Lloyd 7, De. Lloyd 4. Totals: 19-13 20 52.
C – George 25, Bond 14, Jo. Grant 12, Ju. Grant 9, Fisher 3, Williams 4, Davis 3. Totals: 23 17-35 70.
Half: C, 23-21