Stanley Johnson had quite a weekend in Las Vegas.
The 6-foot-7-inch junior forward from Mater Dei (Calif.) met legendary UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, won the Most Valuable Player award at the tournament named after Tarkanian and scored 23 points Saturday to power his team to a 76-60 victory over host Bishop Gorman in the Platinum Division championship game of the Tarkanian Classic.
“Not a bad weekend,” said Johnson, who is undecided about his plans for college. “We came into this tournament determined to win it. It’s the only national tournament we are playing in this year, so we wanted to come out strong.”
The Monarchs (10-0), ranked No. 10 in the nation by USA Today, made a statement early against the Gaels. Mater Dei exploded out of the gate behind two 3-pointers by Mario Soto, while Gorman missed its first seven shots, and the Monarchs stormed to a 14-0 advantage.
With Gorman (11-1) trailing 27-12, Trey Kennedy hit a driving basket and a 3-pointer, and Rashad Muhammad scored in the paint to spark an 11-2 run to trim the Monarchs’ lead to 29-23 with 55 seconds left in the half.
Mater Dei answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to push its lead to 12 at halftime.
Johnson then scored four baskets in the paint, and Elijah Brown drained a 3-pointer to cap Mater Dei’s 15-3 run to open the second half to extend the lead to 50-26. Gorman never threatened again.
Brown added 22 points for Mater Dei. Kennedy had 16 points and Muhammad 10 for Gorman.
Faith Lutheran 44, Lynwood (Calif.) 33 — Sam Stevens scored 17 points to lead the Crusaders past the Knights in the third-place game of the Gold Bracket.
Cheyenne 54, Narbonne (Calif.) 39 — Bryan Laws scored 14 points, including 10 in the second half, to lead the Desert Shields over the Gauchos.
Jonathan Nichols scored 17 to lead Narbonne.
Durango 60, Harlan (Ill.) 56 – Tyler Watts poured in 32 points as the Trailblazers built a 13-point lead, then held off the Falcons.
Dartangan Rollins added 11 points for Durango.
Torian Pearson had 15 points, and Andre Hogan scored 14 for Narbonne.
Chaparral 58, Foothills Christian (Calif.) 54 — Patrick Savoy pumped in 25 points to help the Cowboys outlast the Knights.
Jared Celestine added 10 points for Chaparral.
T.J. Leaf tallied 24 points for Foothills Christian.