Findlay Prep’s Brooks makes case for starting role

Dillon Brooks was inserted into the Findlay Prep boys basketball team’s starting lineup for both of the Pilots’ weekend games.

The 6-foot-6-inch junior wing from Toronto made a pretty convincing case he should remain there for the rest of the season.

Brooks had 18 points, four rebounds and three assists on Saturday as Findlay Prep routed PHASE 1 Academy (Ariz.) 101-69 at Henderson International.

In Friday’s 115-76 victory over Impact Academy, Brooks posted nine points, five boards and two assists.

“Dillon did an awesome job. He really brought our team energy,” Findlay Prep coach Jerome Williams said. “He earned it, in practice, really making a difference. And the three games prior, coming off the bench, he’s really been focused and attentive to the details of the game plan. It’s time to reward him, and he’s starting to show what he can do as a starter.”

Kelly Oubre, a Kansas signee, finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and two assists for the Pilots (23-4), who play against No. 3 Foothill and No. 7 Desert Pines on Friday and Saturday during a showcase at Coronado.

“We’ve taken a couple bumps this year, but we’re still in the national hunt,” Williams said. “We’re still one of the top teams in the country, and we’re still getting after it. Nothing’s changed on our end.”

Craig Victor posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and UNLV target Rashad Vaughn chipped in with 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds as Findlay Prep shot 54 percent (35-for-65) from the field.

PHASE 1 Academy got as close as 74-58 in the second half on a 3-pointer by Jamar Martin before Oubre made a 3 on the Pilots’ next trip down the floor. Martin, who led PHASE 1 with 18 points, tried to answer, but Oubre closed out and swatted his 3-point attempt.

Brooks tracked down the ball at midcourt and powered his way to the hoop for a three-point play that put the Pilots on top 80-58 with 8:41 left to play.

“In the first half, we didn’t do such a great job defensively,” Williams said. “We had to really come out and put more pressure on them.”

Justin Jackson supplied eight points, six rebounds, two steals and three blocked shots, and reserve Derryck Thorton had six of Findlay Prep’s 25 assists.

The Pilots led only 23-22 midway through the first half until taking control with a 14-2 run. Oubre capped the spurt with a thunderous follow-up jam, and Brooks’ three-point play with 2.1 seconds left gave Findlay Prep a 50-37 lead at the half.

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