Central pulled within four at 50-46 to open the last frame, but the Cards went on a 12-2 run and outscored the Storm 19-7 in the final eight minutes to advance to the second round.
The Cards will take on Louisville Trinity at 9 p.m. tonight in the quarterfinal round. The Shamrocks rallied from a 19-point deficit and posted a 73-68 win over Boone County in the
Clark guard Robbie Stenzel, who had 18 points said the late game will give the Cards a breather.
"We'll have our legs under us and hopefully we can play as good as we did today, if not better," he said.
Corey Rogers led the Cards' offense with 20 points and Robert Hatton followed Stenzel with 13.
Vinny Zollo just missed double digits with eight points, but was active in other phases of the game. Zollo finished with 15 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive end and pulled down 10 boards in the second half.
"No matter how many points I score, the first thing I look at is my rebounding," Zollo said. "Once you get rebounds and steals, everything else will come to you."
In addition, Zollo had five blocked shots and dished out a pair of assists.
"The first half was probably his worse half so far of the year, the second half was probably his best half of the year," Humphrey said. "We told him he had to be more physical. I thought he was staying on the perimeter way too much offensively and defensively. In the second half, he pulls 10 rebounds in the second half. When he plays like that, it takes our team to a different level."
Humphrey said winning the opener gives his team a better chance of succeeding in the four-day event.
"It's a lot more fun when you're in the winner's bracket," he said. "We set ourselves to stay in the winner's bracket for a while. All in all, it was a good win for us."
Hopkins Central 19 14 10 07 - 50
Clark 22 12 16 19 - 69
HOPKINS CENTRAL (6-3) - Hughes 16, Caldwell 3, Riley 2, Cobie 2, Jones 13, Croft 14,
CLARK (6-2) - Hatton 13, Daniel 4, Bailey 2, Stenzel 18, Martin 2, Williams 2, Zollo 8, Rogers 20.