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December 19, 2014

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high school basketball:

Gorman basketball fights off hot-shooting Centennial

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Bishop Gorman forward Chase Jeter dunks on Centennial during their game Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Bishop Gorman won the game 73-50.

Bishop Gorman vs. Centennial: Jan. 29, 2014

Bishop Gorman forward Nick Blair sails in for a fast break dunk against Centennial during their game Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Bishop Gorman won the game 73-50. Launch slideshow »
Prep Sports Now

From one Gorman gala to another

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer recount Bishop Gorman's overtime win against Findlay Prep before turning their attention to the Gaels' home game against Centennial Wednesday. They also discuss the toughest division in town, the Northeast, and debate if Canyon Springs is the runaway favorite.

The Bishop Gorman High basketball team took Centennial’s best punch in the first quarter Wednesday in a rematch of last year’s state championship game.

Centennial made 5 of 6 of its 3-pointers in the first quarter, leading the host Gaels by one point after the initial eight minutes. That would be all the success Centennial would have.

Gorman dominated the interior most of the night with junior post Chase Jeter scoring a game-high 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds, helping the Gaels pull away for a 73-50 victory.

Gorman changed defenses from a zone to man-to-man, forcing Centennial to struggle from the outside the remainder of the game. After the first quarter, the Bulldogs were just 3 of 19 on 3s, and Gorman outscored Centennial 20-8 in the second quarter to take the lead for good.

“We had to adjust and play man-to-man even though we have played mostly zone this year,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “We tried to pressure them quite a bit with the man-to-man and it worked.”

Some thought Gorman would be prone to a letdown after an emotional overtime victory last Saturday against Findlay Prep. It was the Gaels’ first win in seven tries against nationally-respected Findlay, the type of victory you don’t easily forget.

But for as important as beating Findlay was, playing well against Centennial was more important. Beating Centennial keeps Gorman in first place of the Southwest League and in the driver’s seat to defend its state championship.

“Just because we beat Findlay doesn’t mean the season is over,” Jeter said. “We are trying to win state. We still have a lot of business to take care of.”

Centennial’s Eddie Davis had six first-quarter points and played solid defense on the interior early in the game. But when he was forced to the bench in foul trouble, Centennial had no answers for Gorman’s size down below. Gorman pulled down 10 offensive rebounds, using those second-chances to build its lead.

The 6-foot-10 Jeter spent most of the game attacking the rim, scoring 14 points on 7 of 11 shooting and blocking four shots. The 6-foot-11 Stephen Zimmerman had nine points and six rebounds.

Nick Blair, who sent the game against Findlay into overtime with a buzzer-beater, continued his solid play with 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting. Obim Okeke was equally effective with 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting and seven assists.

“I don’t think we came out and played badly,” Rice said. “They just made shots. Anytime someone makes five 3s in the first quarter, it’s going to be a tough game.”

Troy Brown, Centennial’s freshman guard with a UNLV scholarship offer, didn’t back down. He scored a team-best 14 points, dished out four assists and got the free throw line 11 times, showing no fear in taking the ball toward the basket. Davis and Garrett Scheer each scored 11 points for the Bulldogs, which lost for just the second time this season and remain in second place of the Southwest.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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