Perimeter shooting has been a focus in practice early this season for De’Quan Thompson.
On Thursday, Lake Mead’s star junior swingman showed he already has made upgrades.
Thompson scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Eagles to a 48-33 win over The Meadows and into the gold bracket of the ninth annual Lake Mead Holiday Classic.
“My coach (Jeff Newton), every practice he’ll ask me if I’m a shooter,” Thompson said. “I would say, ‘no,’ but he tells me to shoot.”
Thompson, who orally has committed to Division II Dixie State, nailed a 3-pointer from the wing as time expired in the first half to send Lake Mead (2-0) to halftime ahead 25-15.
“I was pleased with the execution more than the momentum,” Newton said of Thompson’s halftime buzzer-beater.
Defending Class 1A state champion Lake Mead won the tournament opener 69-9 earlier in the day over Calvary Chapel of Chula Vista, Calif., before wrapping up the No. 1 seed from Pool A.
The 12-team, three-day tournament resumes at 10 a.m. Friday. Lake Mead will play Spring Mountain at 1 p.m.
The title game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Cameron Cornish scored 11 points and Jeffrey Newton 10 for the Eagles, who are gunning for their second straight tournament title.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” Jeff Newton said. “We beat a very good team. When you look at the 2A, Meadows, Needles, Lincoln County and Agassi (Prep) are all great teams. When we beat great teams, I’m pleased.”
Mike Wallace had nine points to lead the Mustangs (2-1).
The Meadows jumped to a 9-6 lead before Lake Mead closed the half on a 19-6 run.
Jeff Newton cited dribble penetration as the biggest area he hopes his team can improve for Friday.
“I thought we did a poor job of taking away dribble penetration, and Meadows did a great job of finding the open man,” he said.
The Mustangs got within 43-33 in the final four minutes before the Eagles finished the game on a 5-0 spurt.
Lake Mead played without guard Landon Littlefield, another Dixie State-bound junior, as he continues to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Medical personnel have cleared Littlefield to play, but he was held out for precautionary reasons, Jeff Newton said.
“We’re just going real slow,” he said. “We’ve got a long season. This season’s a marathon, and we need him at the end of the season.
“Preseason, this is giving us an opportunity to play some of our younger kids.”
In other tournament games:
Lake Mead 69, Calvary Chapel (Calif.) 9 — Cornish and Alex Mayorga scored 16 points apiece to lead the Eagles to the easy win.
Jeremy Francisco added 10 for Lake Mead, which led 37-4 at halftime.
Boulder City 52, Spring Mountain 25 — Boulder City cruised after leading 34-10 at halftime.
Joey Western scored 14 points for Boulder City, which had nine players score.
Davorite Sandifer led Spring Mountain with eight points.
Lincoln County 46, Virgin Valley 32 — The Lynx won the second half 19-9 on their way to the victory.
Dantley Walker scored 20 points and Eric Rippetoe 13 for Lincoln County.
Zach Horlacher led Virgin Valley with nine points.
Basic 64, Calvary Chapel 31 — Nick Sangchaloay scored 17 points, and Basic built a 43-10 halftime lead en route to cruising past Calvary Chapel.
James Holmes added 14 points for the Wolves.
Brandon Corbitt and Tyler Moore each had 10 points for the Lions.
Boulder City 48, Trinity 19 — The Eagles ran to a 10-0 lead and never looked back, going to halftime ahead 33-6.
Shane Levin and Alex Dillon had eight points each to lead Boulder City, which had nine players score.
The Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed from Pool C and will play at 2:30 p.m. Friday against The Meadows.
Avery Harden led Trinity with 10 points.
The Thunder played without star guard Budweiser Hawkins, who watched the game in street clothes.
First-year Trinity coach Keith Harris said Hawkins did not play because of a team rule violation but that he should be able to play Friday.
Virgin Valley 50, Indian Springs 25 — Terran Leavitt had nine points to lead the Bulldogs, who had 10 players score.
Brady Hughes scored 10 points for Indian Springs, which trailed 26-9 at halftime.
Basic 60, Henderson International 30 — Holmes scored 17 points to pace Basic, which had 11 players score.
The Wolves clinched the No. 1 seed from Pool B and will play at 10 a.m. Friday against Virgin Valley.
Rhys Appleby led the Wolverines with 12 points.
Spring Mountain 33, Trinity 27 — Sandifer, Calvin Small and Jose Martinez scored eight points each to lift the Eagles.
Harden led Trinity with 12 points.
The Thunder plays Calvary Chapel (Calif.) at 11 a.m. Friday at Calvary Chapel.
The Meadows 93, Calvary Chapel (Calif.) 24 — The Mustangs sprinted to a 20-1 lead and went to the half ahead 42-4.
Garrett Gosse’s opening-round tournament-high 23 points led The Meadows, which also got double-figure scoring from Nate Gord (14), Gerard Martinez (13) and Wallace (12).
Christian Quidang and Bryce Scheckel led the Knights with six points apiece.
Lincoln County 46, Indian Springs 20 — Walker’s 17 points paced the Lynx, who led 28-5 at halftime.
Junior Baker led the Thunderbirds with eight points.
Lincoln County clinched the No. 1 seed from Pool D and will play Henderson International at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Henderson International 57, Calvary Chapel 29 — Josh Young and Appleby scored 11 points each to lead the Wolverines, who led 30-13 at halftime.
Justin Cox and Juliene Mejia scored six points each for the Lions, who shot 5-for-18 at the free-throw line.
Calvary Chapel plays Indian Springs at 11 a.m. Friday at Calvary Chapel.