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Bol Bol powers Findlay Prep over Bishop Gorman

Bol Bol raced down the court and threw down a windmill dunk as gracefully as a 7-foot-2-inch human can.

It was a fitting exclamation mark for Findlay Prep’s boys basketball team.

Bol had 26 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots Saturday to power the Pilots to a 75-68 win over Bishop Gorman in the Big City Showdown at South Point Arena.

“When I first got here, that was one of the only games I heard about was this game,” Bol said after signing autographs and posing for countless pictures. “So it was very important to win.”

Gorman had no answer for Bol, who has committed to Oregon, especially in the first half. He had 16 points and 10 rebounds at halftime, and finished 10-for-12 from the field. Nearly all of his points came from point-blank range.

“Bol Bol, he’s on a whole other level with that length and size,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “There’s not much you can do about that.”

The Pilots (22-2) pushed their lead to 45-31 after a pair of free throws by Bol with 6:04 to go in the third quarter. But Gorman rallied, and made things interesting down the stretch, especially after Bol had to go to the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 6:39 to play.

Sophomore guard Noah Taitz had 27 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, to key the rally for Gorman (16-4). He drove and dished to freshman Will McClendon for a 3-pointer from the left corner with 33 seconds left to cut the lead to 71-68.

But Jack Schwietz hit a pair of free throws, and Bol threw down the windmill dunk after a Reggie Chaney steal for the final margin.

“We made it interesting and hopefully we gave the crowd some excitement,” Rice said. “We gave them a little scare for a while, but obviously they’re a really good team.”

The 6-8 Chaney added 18 points and six rebounds, and 7-3 reserve center Connor Vanover blocked a pair of shots and scored twice in the post in the fourth quarter as the Pilots remained intimidating even with Bol on the bench.

“Our goal was to pound it inside,” Findlay Prep coach Paul Washington said. “Their goal was to shoot 3s. I thought both teams did accomplish that.

“We had a huge height advantage, so that’s what we wanted to do: punch it inside.”

Gorman’s big man, 6-9 sophomore Isaiah Cottrell, finished with 14 points and six rebounds. He did all of his scoring in the second half after picking up three early fouls. Jamal Bey added 12 points for the Gaels, who hit 10 3-pointers.

Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at dseiters@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.

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