Basketball is a game that often is dictated by height.
No one knows this better than Las Vegas boys basketball coach Jason Wilson, who when he sized up Redemption Christian’s frontcourt Thursday realized a dynamic duo from New York would be a big barrier.
“You just got to play them,” Wilson said. “We were terribly mismatched in size, so we tried to dump the post and help on the backside.”
The Wildcats battle down low was lost on the offensive glass, and Redemption Christian survived a late Las Vegas push to hang on for a 58-51 victory in the Las Vegas Prep Championship. The loss snapped the Wildcats’ seven-game winning streak.
“We tell our kids all the time to play as well as you can on defense,” Wilson said. “But sometimes the offense is better than the defense. That was the case. Especially when you have a size mismatch like that.”
The disparity clearly stood out.
Las Vegas ran into Redemption Christian’s powerful big men — Abdul Shanun, a 6-foot-8-inch sophomore, and Angel Delgado, a 6-9 junior — who controlled the lane.
Delgado shot 7-for-8 from the field in the first half on his way to 22 points and 11 rebounds. Shanun had 13 rebounds.
“I’m expecting him to do big things for us,” Lions coach Kevin Simmons said of Delgado. “He rebounds the ball well and he scores. He’s from the Dominican Republic and this is only our eighth game of the season, so he’s picking everything up pretty fast.”
Redemption Christian’s 12-3 spurt to open the fourth quarter wasn’t enough to stop the Wildcats’ resilient comeback attempt, though. Las Vegas clawed back with an 11-1 run, highlighted by a two-handed jam from Aziz Leaks, to trim the Lions’ lead to 55-51.
“These kids play hard,” Wilson said of the Wildcats. “I really love that these kids don’t quit. We’ve been down before and came back. We told them at the start of the fourth quarter, we just have to do what we do and keep on scrapping and fighting.”
Following a Redemption Christian timeout at the 1:24 mark, Kevin Madiamba found Shanun on a flawless transition pass. The forward finished the play with an authoritative dunk that put the game out of reach.
Madiamba registered 12 points and six rebounds, and teammate Jahman Dalancy contributed 10 points for the Lions, who will participate in next week’s Foothill Holiday Classic.
Leo Goodman paced the Wildcats with 12 points and Juwan Major, who recently committed to Southern Utah, chipped in 11 points.
Las Vegas 55, Corona del Mar (Calif.) 44 — Leeks led a pack of four double-figure scorers with 16 points as the Wildcats defeated the Sea Kings.
Major tallied 15 points, and Goodman and Devon Colley each scored 11 points for Las Vegas.
Max Stone led all scorers with 19 points for Corona del Mar, which was outscored 21-11 in the fourth quarter.
Redemption Christian (N.Y.) 87, Sunrise Mountain 32 — Delgado scored 18 points and the Lions had three double-figure scorers to breeze past the Miners.
Madiamba added 16 points and Jesus Izquierdo chipped in 13 points for Redemption Christian.
Jason Ford led Sunrise Mountain with 10 points.
Clark 67, Buhach Colony (Calif.) 45 — Sir Washington poured in 13 of his 23 points in the second quarter as the Chargers bolted past the Thunder.
Malcolm Davis registered 12 points and nine rebounds for Clark, which had an 18-5 run in the second quarter.
Joe Marquez led Buhach Colony with 16 points.
Clark 53, Palmdale (Calif.) 43 — Washington poured in 16 points, and the Chargers held the Falcons to six third-quarter points en route to the victory.
Davis registered 14 points for Clark, and teammate Diontae Jones had 11 points.
Timothy Gilmore scored 15 points, and E.J. Mitchell supplied 14 points for Palmdale.
Arlington (Calif.) 68, Del Sol 63 — Joshua Godwin tallied 18 points to help lift the Lions past the Dragons.
Anthony Culbertson and Kenshael Airrington had 13 points apiece for Arlington.
Eduardo Romero paced Del Sol with 19 points, 13 of those in the first half.
Mojave 49, Arlington (Calif.) 35 — Jordan Glenn tallied 12 points, and the Rattlers used a 35-16 halftime advantage to tame the Lions.
Anthony Chapple contributed nine points, and Jai’ Angelis Stevenson added eight points for Mojave.
Preston Tucker paced Arlington with nine points.
Mojave 46, Liberty 41 — Jai’Angelis Stevenson registered 10 points to help guide the Rattlers past the Patriots.
Devin Flowers added nine points for Mojave, which led 21-14 at halftime.
Jeremy Lontayao had 13 points for Liberty.
Eldorado 67, Hazard (Ky.) 60— D.J. Billingsley scored 28 points, including 18 in the second half and overtime, to rally the Sundevils to a win over the Bulldogs.
Jayveon Brown made five 3-pointers and had 17 points for Eldorado.
Hunter Hardy had 16 points, and Evan Whitaker scored 12 for Hazard.
Legacy 66, Cypress (Calif.) 57— Donovan Gray drained five 3-pointers to spark the Longhorns to an overtime win over the Centurions.
Gray finished with 21 points. Todd Murdock added 13 points, and Benjie Harris scored 12 for Legacy.
Jalen Hall scored 13 points for Cypress.
Eldorado 75, Legacy 71 — Brown tallied nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to push the Sundevils past the Longhorns.
Darrion Daniels added 21 points for Eldorado.
Donovan Gray scored 16 points, and Fredrick Porter and Benjie Harris each taliled 12 points for Legacy, which got 11 points from Ramell Plair and 10 points from Todd Murdock.
Valley 89, Woodbridge (Calif.) 80 — Spencer Mathis tallied 28 points, and Ryan Johnson scored 26 to guide the Vikings by the Warriors. Cameron Burton contributed 12 points for Valley.
Michael Scarlett had 29 points, and Chase Bangs scored 27 for Woodbridge.
Valley 78, Vista Murrietta (Calif.) 60 — Mathis tallied 30 points as the Vikings cruised past the Broncos.
Daniel Young scored 17 points, and Johnson had 16 points for Valley.
Anthony White led Vista Murrietta with 16 points.
Western 56, Santee (Calif.) 43 — Alezae Porter scored 15 points, and Aldo Arpero added 14 points as the Warriors defeated the Falcons.
Hector Montoya led Santee with 18 points.
El Rancho (Calif.) 59, Western 31 — Matthew Casing scored 20 points for the Dons in a rout of the Warriors.
Vista Murrieta 64, Sierra Vista 47 — Vista Murrieta downed the Mountain Lions despite a 13-point effort from Sierra Vista’s Apollo Corley.