Agassi Prep boys basketball coach Trevor Diggs is no stranger to 40-point games, as the one-time UNLV sharpshooter netted 49 in his final game with the Rebels in 2001.
For a moment on Monday, Diggs had flashbacks of his Senior Day while coaching in the Stars’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day game.
Agassi Prep’s Akeemis Williams and Rancho’s Justin Holiday went back-and-forth with contested jumpers and long 3s as each approached the 40-point mark, but the Stars got the necessary backup late to hold on for a 76-74 road win.
“It’s not fun to watch the other kid get 40,” Diggs said. “But it’s good to see talent. You can see when kids get into a groove. We tried to throw everything at Holiday — the same (way) they did with Akeemis. We threw Najeeb (Muhammad) on him, Allen Merritt on him, everyone. And he just made shot after shot after shot.”
Williams, a 5-foot-8-inch guard, hit nine 3-pointers and finished with 33 points for Agassi Prep (9-3). The 6-4 Holiday connected on seven 3s and totaled 39. He also had 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks for the Rams (9-11).
“I just came out shooting,” said Williams, who scored 21 first-half points to give Agassi Prep a 35-34 halftime lead. “And kept being aggressive.”
Said Holiday: “I didn’t even know I had that, man. I’m just playing for the team and trying to get the win. … It was a very competitive game. I’ve actually known (Williams) for a while now and I’ve played AAU with him. So I’m going to talk to him after this.”
With the Rams shadowing Williams in the second half, Agassi Prep turned to its supporting cast to pull away in a contest that had six ties and nine lead changes. Muhammad scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, and Merritt pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
“That’s when Najeeb Muhammad stepped up and made a couple of shots,” Diggs said. “That was big for us — for another guy to step up. Him and Allen Merritt.”
Rancho, which trailed 68-57 with 4:09 remaining, pulled within 74-71 with 30.4 seconds. But Merritt hit a transition layup to give Agassi Prep a five-point edge with little time left on the clock. Holiday made a 3-pointer from the wing in the final seconds, but the Rams were out of timeouts and the clock soon ran out before Agassi Prep could inbound the ball.
Chrys Jackson added 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Rancho.
La Canada (Calif.) 77, Green Valley 45 — At Los Angeles, the Gators fell to the Spartans.
Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430. Follow @af_ferguson on Twitter.