The Reno boys basketball team might not have the star power of a season ago with standout Olek Czyz now at Duke. But the Huskies still showed Desert Pines why they are the defending Class 4A state champions.
Senior point guard Austin Morgan scored 24 points, and Reno rolled past the Jaguars 80-52 Thursday in the opening round of Bishop Gorman Holiday Classic.
“We talked about being disciplined both offensively and defensively and learning from that team,” Desert Pines coach Chancellor Davis said. “They still have that state championship crown from last year. You can see it in their play.”
Reno (4-4), made 32 of 59 shots and turned a 13-12 deficit midway through the first half into a 46-24 halftime lead.
The game started roughly for the Jaguars (4-3) as they were handed a technical foul for a dunk during warm-ups. Desert Pines then had no answer for the play of Morgan, who triggered a 29-9 run that turned the game.
Morgan hit two straight 3-pointers, and his floater in the lane with 4:36 left in the half put the Huskies on top 32-21.
Morgan had 19 points in the first half — he missed his first two shots and just once after that — as Reno hit 5 of 11 from 3-point range.
“He pretty much took the game over there,” Davis said.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, resorted to hoisting up jumpers and finished the first half 10-for-28 from the floor, including just 3-for-14 from beyond the arc.
“Too many 3s,” Davis said. “We weren’t attacking the basket.”
Desert Pines got as close as 20 points in the second half and trailed 78-47 late.
Senior guard Pierre Jackson led the Jaguars with 14 points, and senior forward Cliff Harrell added 11 points.
“You live and you learn,” Davis said. “The good thing is, the season is early and we play again (today) so we can get the taste out of our mouth.”
Bishop Gorman 80, Granite Hills (Calif.) 38 — Shabazz Muhammad scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half as Gorman pulled away from Granite Hills.
Kylel Coleman aded 10 points and six assists for the Gaels, who had 10 players score at least four points.
The tournament hosts broke out to a 38-15 halftime lead.
Dean Miller led Granite Hills with 20 points.
Foothill 60, St. John’s (D.C.) 54 — Evan Roquemore scored 18 points, and the Falcons overcame a 30-28 halftime deficit to down St. John’s.
Aaron Shepard added 13 points for the Falcons, who won despite making just 14 of 29 free throws.
Dominguez (Calif.) 91, Faith Lutheran 52 — Senior Chase Saunders scored 19 points, but the Crusaders were overwhelmed by the powerhouse Dons.
Faith Lutheran trailed 44-27 at halftime. Senior Taylor Jantz and sophomore Brett Lubbe each added 14 points for the Crusaders.
Dominguez had three players reach the 20-point mark, led by Myron Green’s 22. Marqus Moody had 21 and Keala King finished with 20 for the Dons.
Buchanan (Calif.) 55, Spring Valley 40 — Senior Jesse Chippoletti led the Grizzlies with 14 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Bears won in the consolation bracket.
Buchanan hit nine 3-pointers and was led by Jackson Carbajal’s 17 points. Corvaughn Archie chipped in with 13 points and Alex Fertig had 11 for the Bears.
Spring Valley trailed 30-18 at halftime and never got closer than 10 points in the second half. The Grizzlies made it 36-26 early, and after Chippoletti’s 3-pointer and free throw, it was 47-37 with a little less than 2 minutes remaining.
Buchanan held the Grizzlies to just nine field goals in all. Spring Valley was 21 of 38 from the free-throw line.