After going winless during District 4-1A regular-season play, the San Jon Coyotes will live to play another day.
Sophomore guard Justin Pullen scored 18 points and junior forward Chase Thompson added 16 in a 52-43 win over Clovis Christian Tuesday night at the CCS gym.
The Coyotes (6-16) advanced to a 7 p.m. semifinal game tonight at second-seeded Grady.
Trailing by six late in the second quarter, the fourth-seeded Coyotes outscored the Eagles 35-24 in the second half, including 11-4 in the final three minutes.
The Coyotes had 11 turnovers and shot no free throws in the first half, which ended with CCS leading 19-17. In the second half, San Jon had six turnovers and went 17-for-28 from the foul line.
“We’ve played these guys three times and it’s been close,” Coyotes coach Tommy Thompson said. “We talked to the guys at halftime about being aggressive.”
Pullen scored nine in a first quarter that ended tied 11-11.
“If it hadn’t been for Justin, we might have dug ourselves a big hole,” coach Thompson said.
Clovis Christian got 13 points from sophomore Kevin Naceanceno before he fouled out in the final minute.
“We had our opportunities, but we didn’t make our shots,” Eagles coach Lupe Naceanceno said. “San Jon deserved to win tonight. They played better than we did.”
The game was pushed back a day because of Monday’s snow, meaning the Coyotes will be playing back-to-back.
Tonight’s winner advances to the championship game at top-seeded Logan on Friday.
In other boys games:
• Muleshoe began its playoff bid in Class 2A playoffs in Texas with a 54-52 win over Spearman in a bi-district game at Canyon. Junior guard Tyson Turnbow scored 15 points, including two free throws with 15 seconds left that gave the Mules (19-14) a five-point lead and allowed them to withstand a last-second halfcourt shot by the Lynx (15-11).
Junior forward Cooper Washington added 11 points and junior guard Nick Hurtado 10 for the Mules, who face Sonora in a 6 p.m. (MST) area round game on Friday at Snyder High School. Tate Batton had three 3-pointers and 20 points for the Lynx.
• In Class 1A Division I, Farwell opened a 20-8 lead at the quarter and cruised past Sundown 57-33. The Steers advance to an area round game against Van Horn (15-11), at a time and place to be announced.
Junior center Octavio Chavez led the Steers (23-8) with 20 points and was the only player on either team to reach double figures.
• In District 3-1A, Melrose advanced to a semifinal matchup Thursday at second-seeded Floyd with a 61-46 win over Dora.
The third-seeded Buffaloes (14-8) got 18 points from senior Sammy Lawrence and 12 from senior Clint Barnard. Leading 39-33 entering the final period, Lawrence, Barnard and senior Kole Tatum scored six points each to lead a 22-13 Melrose run.
The fifth-seeded Coyotes, who upended fourth-seeded Elida 51-46 on Saturday, were led by 11 points from junior Michael Puebla and 10 from senior Mark Butler.
• In a Class 1A Division I regional quarterfinal at Lubbock’s Rip Griffin Center, Smyer improved to 31-3 for the season with a 56-43 victory over Farwell. The Lady Bobcats (31-3) meet Anton in the next round on Friday at South Plains College in Levelland.
Senior guard Tiffani Jones had three 3-pointers and 15 points for the Lady Blue (26-6), while senior guard Keegan Langford added 10 points. Smyer broke open a 23-16 game at halftime with an 8-0 run early in the third period.
• Clovis Christian’s season came to an end when the Lady Eagles lost to San Jon 55-41 in a District 4-1A tournament game at the CCS gym.
CCS (6-18) overcame an early deficit to take a 27-26 lead at halftime, but the Lady Coyotes (9-14) went on a 14-3 run in the third quarter to take control. Senior center Tracy Foote scored 17 points and senior forward Morgan Foster added 16 for San Jon.
Senior guard Joceyln Swann shot 14-of-24 at the free throw line en route to a game-high 22 points for CCS.