The Meadows center Max Hisatake would admit his first choice is to play football at the collegiate level.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound standout might need to include basketball in the mix the way he’s opened his senior season.
Hisatake scored 21 points to go along with 15 rebounds, five steals and two assists in the Mustangs’ 78-52 win over Spring Creek in Friday in the gold bracket semifinals of the Lake Mead Holiday Classic at Lake Mead.
The Meadows (3-0) will face Boulder City (3-2) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the tournament final at Lake Mead.
“I had some bad turnovers, but overall I played with great effort,” Hisatake said. “This year, I bring energy to the team. I wasn’t that type of player last year.”
Hisatake, averaging 19.7 points per game, was a force on both ends of the floor. During the first two minutes, he had seven points, a rebound, a steal and an assist to ignite a 22-0 start by the Mustangs, who forced 11 first-quarter turnovers.
Hisatake credits his strong start to his offseason training, in which he leaned out and added muscle.
“I went through a transformation,” said Hisatake, who is receiving interest to play football at UNR, San Diego and Weber State. “I just changed my diet. I wasn’t happy with my running form and wanted to drop weight.”
Hisatake was a big reason Spring Creek was held scoreless until 3:44 remained in the first quarter when Dakota Larson made two free throws. Jake Peterson scored the Spartans’ first field goal soon after, but the Spartans trailed 29-7 heading into the second.
Hisatake sat the last three minutes of the first quarter and the first five of the second after picking up two fouls. But Jake Epstein took over the scoring load, connecting on four 3-pointers and scoring 20 of his 24 points in the first half as The Meadows took a 39-24 lead.
Hisatake returned in the third, contributing 10 points and eight rebounds. He finished 7 of 11 from the field, helping The Meadows shoot 47.7 percent (41 of 65) overall. The Mustangs’ biggest lead was 72-40.
“For me, I think the key is my mind,” Hisatake said. “I’m a firm believer in your brain being a very powerful thing. When I get in my head, I start playing poorly. But when I’m confident and have others driving me up, that really drives my game.”
Epstein also had seven rebounds and four assists for The Meadows, and Ethan Fridman supplied 15 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Peterson scored 14 to lead Spring Creek and Larsen added 10.
Boulder City 47, West Wendover 36 — Austin Wishard scored 11 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, to rally the Eagles by the Wolverines.
Carson Balistere added nine points for Boulder City, which trailed 16-12 at halftime and 31-30 after three quarters.
Zade Elton scored 11 for West Wendover.
Word of Life 53, Spring Creek 46 — Paul Kelker led three double-figure scorers with 16 points to help the Eagles top the Spartans.
Elijah Hoye scored 15 points, and Trent McCall added 13 points for Word of Life.
Cooper Cavaness led Spring Creek with 15 points.
Moapa Valley 77, Southern Australia 53 — Jay Mortensen scored 24 points to lead the Pirates by Southern Australia.
Nate Cox added 19 points, and Koby Frei scored 11 for Moapa Valley, which led 38-17 at halftime.
Damien English led Southern Australia with 16 points.
Moapa Valley 59, Lincoln County 39 — Frei scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter as the Pirates downed the Lynx.
Mortensen had nine points for Moapa Valley.
Derek Cox led Lincoln County with 12 points.
Lake Mead 40, Calvary Christian (Calif.) 35 — Shay Rutledge scored a game-high 16 points to power the Eagles by the Royal Knights.
Jacob Scott and Austin Newby each scored eight points for Lake Mead, which used a 24-7 second-quarter run to pull away.
Chris Feather had 14 points for Calvary Christian, and teammate Roman Figueroa scored 12.
Calvary Chapel 58, Lake Mead 45 — Quentin Hank scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half to lead the Lions by the Eagles.
Alec Neider, Cameron Varela and D.J. Golden each scored nine points for Calvary Chapel, which led 29-16 at halftime.
Rutledge scored 20 points, and Scott added 11 points for Lake Mead.
Lincoln County 57, Calvary Christian (Calif.) 24 — Hannah Hafen scored 19 points as the Lynx routed the Royal Knights.
Savannah Harr added 13 points for Lincoln County, which led 31-8 at the half.
Sierra Maye paced Calvary Christian with 12 points.
Pahranagat Valley 50, The Meadows 23 — Madalyn Taylor scored 14 points to help the Panthers rout the Mustangs.
Gracie Carter added 10 points for Pahranagat Valley, which led 24-6 at the half.
Kaiya Massey led The Meadows with 10 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. Marcella Peek added 12 rebounds for the Mustangs.
The Meadows 59, Lutheran (Calif.) 18 — Peek had 27 points and 13 rebound as the Mustangs overwhelmed the Knights.
Rachel Siegel had 14 points and nine steals for The Meadows.
Calvary Christian (Calif.) 41, Calvary Chapel 34 — Maye had 19 points to help the Royal Knights hold off the Lions.
Noemi Farfan added 16 points for Calvary Christian.
Malia Lee had 14 points, and Sara Hernandez added 13 points for Calvary Chapel.
Boulder City 43, Lake Mead 12 — Hannah Estes and Lauren Mullins each had 11 points as Boulder City routed Lake Mead.
Jacea Tillman had 11 points for Lake Mead.
Calvary Chapel 50, Foothills Christian (Calif.) 9 — Lee scored 15 points as the Lions routed Foothills Christian.
Hernandez added eight points for Calvary Chapel, which used a 21-0 second-quarter run to open a 39-5 halftime lead.
Lincoln County 51, West Wendover 35 — Harr had 23 points and eight steals to lead the Lynx over the Wolverines.
Kristal Jackson added 14 points and six rebounds for Lincoln County, which outscored West Wendover 30-15 in the second half.
Sydney Reamer led the Wolverines with 17 points.
Boys box scores: