Going more than 13 minutes without a field goal usually isn’t a recipe for success.
But Las Vegas High’s boys basketball team managed to shrug off that scoring drought on Tuesday.
The Wildcats didn’t make their first basket of the second half until 3:02 remained in the game, but still rallied to top visiting Rancho 50-49 for third place in the Las Vegas Prep Championship. Woodbridge (Calif.) beat El Toro (Calif.) 44-43 in the championship game.
“They didn’t do a good job of handling the pressure, so we told our kids to turn it up in our three-quarter court trap, and they did a good job and got some easy buckets and made enough plays down the stretch to win,” Las Vegas coach Jason Wilson said.
Rancho outscored Las Vegas 19-1 in the third quarter to take a 38-31 lead, and led 46-36 before Marquise Raybon made a stick-back with 3:02 to play for the team’s first second-half field goal. From there, the Wildcats used their defense to jump-start the offense, forcing seven fourth-quarter turnovers and turning them into 13 points.
“They made a good run there in the third quarter and we couldn’t put the ball in the hole to save our lives,” Wilson said. “We couldn’t get any good looks, and they were doing a good job of taking shots away.”
Rancho switched to a 3-2 zone in the second half, and Las Vegas struggled, missing its first 14 shot attempts. The Wildcats also had eight third-quarter turnovers, helping Rancho push its lead to 44-32 on a put-back by Lamont Traylor with 5:24 to play.
But Traylor fouled out with 3:53 to go, taking away Rancho’s biggest inside presence. Traylor finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots.
“He’s a good player,” Wilson said. “I don’t know how many shots he blocked tonight, but he changed everything at the rim. When he went out, that was another thing we addressed is that we’ve got to attack the rim. He’s not in there to protect, so we need to try to get to the rim, and the kids did it.”
Sophomore Donovan Joyner, who led Las Vegas with 16 points, made a 3-pointer from the left corner with 1:05 to play to put the Wildcats up 50-48.
“He’s been really good,” Wilson said of Joyner, who scored 58 points in the four tournament games. “He’s very aggressive. He can get to the basket. He’s not real consistent shooting the ball, but that was obviously a big shot for us. He’s starting to figure it out a little bit.”
Both teams had chances at the foul line in the final minute, but neither took advantage. Rancho’s Michael Hernandez made 1 of 2 with 50.9 seconds left to make it 50-49. Las Vegas’ DiQuan Brown missed both attempts with 15.5 seconds left, leaving the margin at one.
Rancho set up a final shot for point guard Chrys Jackson, whose 3-pointer missed, but teammate Stepfon Cotton-Taylor grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 0.2 seconds left.
Cotton-Taylor missed both shots, allowing Las Vegas to escape with the win.
Raybon added 14 points and eight rebounds for Las Vegas.
Jackson had eight points and eight assists, and Tommy Robertson scored 13 points for Rancho.
Joyner and Raybon were selected to the all-tournament team for Las Vegas along with Rancho’s Traylor and Jackson.
Foothill 39, Basic 36 — Jeron Bodin had four points in the final 1:36, including two free throws with 1.7 seconds left to lift the Falcons over the Wolves for fifth place.
Bodin’s steal and basket with 1:36 to go pushed the Foothill lead to 37-34.
Kerry Keyes answered for Basic, cutting it to 37-36 with 1:20 to play.
The Wolves got the ball back and called timeout with 32.5 seconds left. After working the clock down, Keyes got an open 3-pointer from the right wing, but the shot was no good, and Bodin chased down the rebound and was fouled.
Basic had a final chance, but Matthew Esplin’s desperation heave from just inside halfcourt was short.
Jace Roquemore had 11 points, and Bodin had nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead the Falcons. Jonny Rolle added eight points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots, and Mauricio Smith had 11 rebounds for Foothill.
Bodin and Smith made the all-tournament team.
Keyes had 24 points to pace Basic. He had 12 of the team’s 14 first-half points. He also made the all-tournament team.
Liberty 60, Chaparral 45 — The Patriots opened the game on a 15-0 run and rolled to the win in the consolation bracket championship.
Dyllan Robinson led Liberty with 21 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots. Cameron Burist added 15 points and seven rebounds for Liberty. Robinson and Burist both made the all-tournament team.
David Bravo added 10 points and four assists, and Kyle Thaxton had 10 rebounds for the Patriots.
Chaparral didn’t score until Marc Silas hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:09 to go in the first quarter.
Samuel Porras had 13 points, four rebounds and five assists for the Cowboys. Marcus Hilliard added 12 points for Chaparral, which opened the second half with a 7-0 run but couldn’t close the gap.
Silas also made the all-tournament team.
Cimarron-Memorial 47, Valley 45 — The Spartans missed the front end of three one-and-one opportunities in the final minute, but held on for the victory.
Jeremiah Broussard, who was named to the all-tournament team, had 16 points, four rebounds and two steals to lead the Spartans.
KeAnte Huddleston added 10 points, 14 rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots, and Elijah Coleman had 12 points and five rebounds for Cimarron.
Seneca Mitchell led Valley with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Roell King, who also made the all-tournament team, added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Vikings.
Basic 34, Agape Christian (Fla.) 31 — Matthew Esplin had 13 points as the Wolves edged the Saints to advance to the fifth-place game.
Keyes added 11 points for Basic.
Darrion Fluker led Agape Christian with 12 points.
Foothill 71, Eagle Rock (Calif.) 42 — The Falcons held the Eagles to four fourth-quarter points and rolled to the win to move into the fifth-place game.
Bodin led Foothill with 15 points. Devon Erb scored 14 and Smith 13 for the Falcons.
Jon Carlo Macabuhay led Eagle Rock with 14 points.
Legacy 56, Western 43 — Tim Jeffries had 25 points as the Longhorns beat the Warriors in a consolation game.
Kwan Carter had 18 points to lead Western, which outscored Legacy 16-9 in the third quarter to pull within 39-37.
Nakia Harris-Neal added 15 points for the Warriors.
Western 63, Las Vegas JV 47 — Carter and Karrington Coleman each had 11 points to power the Warriors to the win over the Wildcats’ junior varsity in a consolation game.
John Swayzer added 10 points for Western
Hanford (Calif.) 58, Legacy 55 — Cole Taber scored 16 points as the Bullpups beat the Longhorns in a consolation game.
Jeffries had 16 points and was 10-for-11 from the free-throw line to lead Legacy. Edward Vaughns and De’Andre Winder each added 14 points for the Longhorns, who were 23-for-29 from the line.