Findlay Prep’s Vaughn delays announcement, puts on show

Findlay Prep senior Rashad Vaughn decided Friday to delay the announcement of his college destination.

A few hours later, the 6-foot-6-inch combo guard showed why he is so highly coveted by several of the nation’s top schools.

Vaughn poured in a game-high 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting, and the Pilots rolled past No. 3 Foothill 81-54 at Coronado.

The game originally was scheduled as part of a two-day showcase at Coronado, but the event was canceled this week. The Pilots (24-4) travel to No. 7 Desert Pines for a 6:30 p.m. Saturday tipoff.

“We were glad to finally get the game in,” Findlay Prep coach Jerome Williams said. “We wanted to keep up the intensity, and we were able to do that. In the second half, I think we were able to wear on them a little bit.”

Vaughn, a consensus top-10 player in the class of 2014, was set to make his oral commitment on Saturday. Instead, he decided to focus on this weekend’s games and push back his decision until Tuesday.

The McDonald’s All-American originally from Minnesota is considering UNLV, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina.

“The (National High School Invitational) is coming up, and every game is important,” Vaughn said. “Plus, my parents wanted to get down here for the commitment. So, this way I can enjoy it with my family.”

Added Williams: “He wanted a little more time to finalize his decision. There’s no rush. It’s like I tell him, ‘Whenever it’s the right fit for you, do what you need to do.’ “

Vaughn made three of his four 3-pointers and had 16 points in the second half, including 11 in the third quarter. He threw down a crowd-pleasing, 360-degree dunk following a steal early in the fourth quarter that put Findlay Prep on top, 63-43.

“He has another gear,” Williams said. “A lot of times he’s able to pick his spots and show his senior leadership. They were playing a triangle-and-two on us early on and he had to let the offense dictate what we were able to get.”

Arizona-bound forward Craig Victor added 17 points and 16 rebounds, and swingman Kelly Oubre, a Kansas signee, had 16 points and seven boards for the Pilots, who led by as many as 34 points in the fourth quarter.

Findlay Prep had 10 dunks and shot 58.5 percent (31-for-52) from the field.

“I wanted our kids to get the experience of playing against kids who are going to play at the next level and trying to hang with them as long as we could,” Foothill coach Kevin Soares said. “We could have played better, but that’s a credit to them. They take so much away because of their length and athleticism. It was tough for us to get into our offense.”

The Pilots, whose shortest starter is Vaughn, held the Falcons (18-6) to 33 percent shooting from the floor and without a field goal for the opening 6 minutes, 40 seconds of the fourth quarter. Foothill also missed 10 of its 18 free-throw attempts.

Torrance Littles led Foothill with 12 points and pulled down six rebounds. Austin Starr supplied seven points, seven rebounds and three assists, and Jalen Shepard chipped in with seven points, four assists and two steals for the Falcons.

Foothill trailed 42-33 after Matt Rapp opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers, but the Pilots answered with a 17-5 run and pulled away. Oubre had a ferocious two-handed jam to make it 49-35, and Vaughn’s three-point play put Findlay Prep on top 59-38 with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter.

“The guys played hard, and they played well,” Williams said. “I like their progress.”

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