By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

HAYS For the first three quarters of Class 1A quarterfinal Tuesday, it was the Chase Clancy show versus Macksville.

And the Tigers were winning just barely over the South Gray Rebels.

Trailing by two heading into the final eight minutes at Gross Memorial Coliseum, the Rebels came to life with Clancy's teammates making clutch shots down the stretch that propelled South Gray to a 54-45 victory. The win advances the Rebels to Thursday's semifinals at 4:45 p.m. against top-seeded Quinter (26-0), the team that knocked them out of last year's state tourney on the opening day.

Clancy was brilliant, scoring 29 points through three quarters, including 21 by halftime.

But Ricky Friesen and Austin Love knocked down 3-pointers in the first 40 seconds of the final stanza to put the Rebels up for good at 44-40 and held a slim 47-45 lead with just 1:34 remaining before closing the door on the Tigers with a 7-0 run.

"We played scared at the game's outset," South Gray coach Mark Applegate said. "We finally woke up and the others decided to make a contribution. I told them at the end of the third quarter that this would either end their season or they get another two games. They stepped up big for us."

For Clancy, the 6-foot-1 senior guard, the help couldn't have come at a better time.

"I'm just so happy that we have a chance to play Quinter again," Clancy said. "We stepped up defensively and we did a much better job of boxing out in the second half."

Macksville's big front line had penetrated and scored on a number of follow shots in the first half, leading 31-27 lead. But the Rebels' defense limited them to just 14 second half points.

"People have said all year that we couldn't play defense and I think we were able to prove that we could in the second half," Clancy said. "Coach just told us to keep chipping away at their lead and we ran our offense a lot better."

Both teams opened the game tight. It was nearly three minutes before either team scored. It was 12-11 South Gray after one quarter, then the Tigers used their inside strength to score on five follow shots to give them a four-point edge at the break.

With 3:05 left in the third quarter, the Rebels trailed 40-30. Clancy scored six points and Bligh Schulte a layup to close out the quarter and pull the Rebels within 40-38.

"We're happy to move on," Applegate said. "We know a lot about Quinter. They haven't lost any tough games, but we'll show up to play. We'll just have to do some different things. I think they're a little bigger than a year ago, but perhaps not as quick. We'll just see."

Clancy's 31 points topped all scorers while Evan Loomis paced the Macksville with 16 points. Kyle Bunker grabbed 12 rebounds to help the Tigers to a narrow 38-34 rebounding edge.

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SOUTH GRAY (25-1) Clancy 11-18 8-9 31, Love 3-4 1-2 8, Hendricks 0-5 0-0 0, Schulte 2-7 2-6 6, Friesen 2-7 4-4 9, Martens 0-2 0-0 0, Mosher 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-45 15-21 54.

MACKSVILLE (22-4) Renfro 2-11 0-0 4, Bunker 2-9 2-4 6, Loomis 7-11 0-1 16, Oak 1-7 0-0 2, Aves 1-3 2-4 4, Filbert 2-7 1-2 5, Tranbarger 0-1 0-0 0, Bevan 3-5 2-3 8. Totals 18-54 7-14 45.

South Gray 12 15 11 16 -- 54

Macksville 11 20 9 5 -- 45

3-point goals South Gray 3-14 (Clancy 1-5, Love 1-2, Hendricks 0-2, Friesen 1-4, Mosher 0-1), Macksville 2-20 (Renfro 0-4, Bunker 0-2, Loomis 2-6, Oak 0-4, Filbert 0-3, Tranbarger 0-1). Rebounds South Gray 34 (Hendricks 8), Macksville 38 (Bunker 12). Turnovers South Gray 14, Macksville 14. Assists South Gray 8 (Clancy 4), Macksville 7 (Renfro 2, Oak 2, Filbert 2). Blocked shots South Gray 5 (Schulte 3), Macksville 6 (Aves 3). Steals South Gray 4 (Clancy 2), Macksville 9 (Oak 3). Fouls South Gray 15, Macksville 19. Fouled out Macksville (Loomis, Oak).