And the Cardinals' long-distance shooting helped open things up inside for Jones early.
Jones scored on a putback and reverse layup to put Clark ahead for good. Then Robert Hatton had two 3-pointers, and Preston Knowles and Robbie Stenzel each hit from long range to put Clark ahead 18-10.
The Christian defenders had to extend their defense, which left Jones to deal with just a single defender most of the time. He responded by scoring inside, hitting two free throws after forcing the Colonels' starting center, Rodney Manning, to pick up his second foul. He had eight points in the first quarter as Clark led 22-17.
I'll bet they were keying on me from the game film. Then the threes just opened everything else up, they had to go out and guard them and leave a single guy on me," Jones said. "It helped me a lot."
Humphrey couldn't have drawn it up any better.
"I thought that did extend them, and caught them off-guard. Tristan's a load inside. He's just 6-foot-4, but at the high school level, he's tough to defend," the Cardinals' coach said. "He's just now coming into his own. He had wrist trouble all through the year, and he has fresh legs right now. And when you get him going, and Preston going, it's a tough match."
Jones had the first four points of the second quarter for Clark, two coming off a free throw, to put Clark ahead 27-16 with 7:06 left in the half. Jones was 4-for-5 shooting in the first half, and finished 6-for-9 from the floor.
Jones opened the third quarter by racing to the corner to grab a long offensive rebound and go in for the layup, drawing another Christian foul and hitting another free throw.
Humphrey expected the Colonels to be even more physical with him than in the first half just by necessity.
"If you're soft with him, he's going to embarrass you," he said. "And I thought he handled it nice and composed and he drew a lot of fouls on them. Their big guys were in trouble all night."
But he picked up his third foul with 4:56 left in the third and had to sit. There was still four minutes remaining when he picked up his fourth foul.
"I felt he was controlling the game. If he stayed in there, they never had an answer for him," Humphrey said. "When he's out there, we're a different team."
But Jones never picked up that fifth and final foul, and while he scored just two more points after his first basket of the third quarter, he did pull down five boards in the fourth quarter and overtime, including the final one of the game after Christian's C.J. Trotter missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
I knew if I got my fifth foul, it would make it tough for my team to win. So I just tried to keep my head straight, and go back in there and do what I do," Jones said. "(The final rebound) felt good, just took the pressure off of my back and everything."