Bishop Gorman’s boys basketball team entered Monday’s Big City Showdown ranked No. 1 in the Southern Nevada. Findlay Prep, which can’t compete for a Nevada state title, came in ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today.
The difference between No. 1 in the area and No. 1 in the country became apparent in the second half.
The Pilots outscored Gorman 21-7 in the third quarter on the way to a 65-45 win at South Point Arena.
“We got the ball moving a little more,” said Findlay forward Christian Wood, a UNLV recruit, who had 11 points of his 19 points in the second half. “We weren’t as selfish as the first and second quarter. We started feeding the post to Gavin (Schilling) and me and just started going from there.”
Gorman closed the first half on a 7-2 run to pull within 25-20. But the Gaels scored only four points in the first 5:48 of the second half. Findlay (19-0) took advantage, extending its lead to 41-24 on an alley-oop dunk by Wood on a pass from Nigel Williams-Goss.
Gorman shot 3-for-12 from the field in the third quarter.
“They locked down, and talked a little louder and listened better and kind of buckled down,” Findlay coach Todd Simon said.
The Pilots also held an 11-3 rebounding edge in the quarter, and the team turned that into five second-chance points.
“We thought we could jump over people in the first half, and the second half they decided, 'Hey, we’ve got to put some lumber on some people,’ ” Simon said.
The 6-foot-11-inch Wood had three of his game-high 10 rebounds in the third quarter. He also finished with three blocks.
“He went and cleaned up,” Simon said. “He’s just so unique with his length. Sometimes I think he underestimates himself on how high he can go get something. He’s been great. He takes a good kick in the pants and responds, so I love that kid.”
Allerik Freeman, who is headed to UCLA, was scoreless in the first half, but scored 12 in the second half. He was 2-for-3 on 3-pointers and 6-for-6 from the foul line.
Stanford Robinson, an Indiana recruit, added 18 points and six rebounds, and Washington signee Williams-Goss had 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Rashad Muhammad had 22 points to lead Gorman (15-3). Muhammad was 3-for-4 from the field and had nine points in the first quarter before the Pilots began to slow him down.
“He came out and did a nice job; he’s very savvy,” Simon said. “But guys made adjustments and figured out, 'OK, this is how I defend this guy.’ ”
Though Gorman has never beaten the Pilots, Wood said it still is sweet to get the win over the area’s other local power.
“They’ve been saying that they’ve been ready to beat us and stuff, but I don’t think so,” Wood said.