There have been seasons when Bishop Gorman’s boys basketball team had a size advantage when the Gaels faced Findlay Prep.
This isn’t one of those seasons.
The Gaels (16-3) will need to try to figure out how to offset the Pilots’ size advantage when the teams meet at 6 p.m. Saturday in the annual Big City Showdown at South Point Arena.
“I’m not sure anyone in the country matches up with how big they are,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “They’re a definite top five team in the country. They can play with anybody. It’ll be fun for us. We’ll just go out there and do the best we can.”
Findlay Prep, ranked No. 6 in the nation by USA Today, features 7-foot-2-inch center Bol Bol, who has committed to Oregon and is considered one of the nation’s top five senior prospects. The Pilots (20-2) also have 7-3 Connor Vanover (Memphis) and 6-8 Reggie Chaney (Arkansas) for Gorman to contend with inside.
But the Gaels have played step-for-step with Findlay Prep in recent seasons. Gorman has won two of the past four meetings, with the Pilots winning 78-72 in overtime last season. Findlay Prep’s other recent win was 50-49 in 2015.
“I think this city really enjoys watching some good basketball, so I’m hoping we can have a good game again,” Rice said.
Gorman will look for a big game from 6-9 sophomore Isaiah Cottrell inside. And 6-6 senior wing Jamal Bey, who has committed to Washington, has shouldered a big load this season. He’s coming off a 26-point effort that included the winning basket in an 82-80 win over Sierra Canyon (California) on Monday. Sierra Canyon is ranked No. 23 in the nation.
“We’re definitely the underdogs, but I think our guys will be fine with that and go out and play really hard,” Rice said. “They’re definitely the more talented and bigger team, but I think our guys will be up to the task.”