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Bishop Gorman-Findlay Prep basketball rivalry put on hold

The biggest high school basketball game of the year in Las Vegas is going on hiatus.

When Bishop Gorman will play Findlay Prep again is anyone’s guess after Findlay Prep announced last week that it probably won’t field a team next season.

The teams played annually in what was the must-see game of the year in Las Vegas, often more anticipated than even the state championship game.

“It’s definitely disappointing that they’ll not be fielding a team,” said Gorman coach Grant Rice, whose team has won eight straight state titles. “They brought a lot of attention to Las Vegas. They brought a lot of talented players, a lot of Division I kids and future NBA players to Las Vegas.”

Findlay Prep won 10 of the 13 games against the Gaels, but Gorman took three of the past six, including a 59-55 victory over the Pilots on Jan. 19. Each of the past six games was decided by seven or fewer points.

“It was a good rivalry over the years,” Rice said.

The game was played at South Point Arena each of the past seven years as part of the Big City Showdown event. It was the main attraction of a five-game schedule last season that included Clark, Coronado, Democracy Prep, Desert Oasis, Durango and Liberty.

“We were fortunate that the South Point hosted us, and people from the city came out to be a part of it,” Rice said. “That will be missed, but we’ll figure something out. We’ll have to reach out to see if the South Point is still interested. We haven’t gotten that far yet.”

Rice said he hasn’t determined how he will fill the opening. The Gaels generally play in three tournaments a year, including hosting the Tarkanian Classic, one of the largest in-season tournaments in the country.

Gorman plays last year’s state runner-up, Clark, as part of the Southwest League schedule and is scheduled to play Coronado, though a date hasn’t been finalized. Last season’s game between the Cougars and Gaels was televised by ESPNU, and Rice said it’s possible next season’s game might be.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com.

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