Clark’s Darrius Perryman is only a sophomore, but he’s not shy about taking charge.
That was apparent when he made two big three-pointers in the fourth quarter that finally gave the Eagles some separation Friday against Crane.
‘‘That turned the corner for us right there,’’ Clark coach Terry Head said.
Those baskets gave the Eagles a 12-point lead with less than five minutes left, and they held on for a 68-64 victory in the final of the Class 2A Christ the King Regional.
‘‘I always want to be the person that takes over the team,’’ said Perryman, who finished with 18 points and five rebounds. ‘‘If we need the points, I’m going to score because I want to go downstate.’’
Going to state hasn’t always been a realistic goal for Clark (21-6), but this team is something special. The Eagles won the White West to earn a promotion to the Red North/West next season and picked up their third regional title.
‘‘This is a real big thing for the Austin community,’’ Head said. ‘‘Man, everybody thinks the West Side is all bad. The kids play hard, and they’re smart too. This is a real big win for our school and our community.’’
Perryman wasn’t the only hero for Clark, which beat Crane 74-57 in January en route to the conference title. Pierre Calhoun added 13 points and eight rebounds and Carrion Weathers 13 points, five rebounds and three steals.
‘‘It means a lot,’’ Calhoun said. ‘‘I’m a senior, and it felt good to bring my team to the Red.’’
The Cougars slowed down the tempo early and led for most of the first 2œ quarters before the Eagles went on a 9-0 run to go up 44-35 late in the third.
Picking up the pace got Clark rolling.
‘‘I made adjustments,’’ Head said. ‘‘I went to all the guards. . . . I wanted to speed the game up. I watched [Crane’s] game against Marshall [in the regional semifinals].We’ve got the same kind of guards as Marshall, so I picked them up and pressured the ball.’’
Calhoun said he likes the faster tempo.
‘‘That’s what we capitalize on,’’ he said. “Defense and speeding people up and then getting fast breaks and going to the free-throw line.’’
Crane (22-6) got big efforts from 6-3 guard Jalen West, who scored a game-high 21 points and added nine rebounds, and 6-4 guard Robert Hobbs, who had 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
The Cougars cut their 12-point deficit to 67-64 with 10.7 seconds left, but Anthony Owens split two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining to help the Eagles hold on.
‘‘It’s a big rivalry,’’ Calhoun said. ‘‘It was a big win for us to beat them again.’’