Clark boys basketball coach Chad Beeten has never hidden his displeasure with realignment.
Beeten no doubt had those feelings in mind when he put together his team’s schedule this season.
The No. 3 Chargers went 5-0 against Division I teams this season, including a 60-55 victory over No. 4 Las Vegas on Friday, and reaffirmed their status as one of the top teams in the state regardless of class.
“We did the same thing last year … but we needed to do it again,” Beeten said of scheduling teams from the large-school classification. “Yes, to prove a point, but really just to prepare and play the best.”
The Chargers were one of 10 schools dropped into Division I-A when the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association policy went into effect two years ago, a move intended to provide more competitive balance. The major drawback, of course, is when a rising power ends up in the lower division.
(How great would a Bishop Gorman-Desert Pines boys basketball game have been last season, for example?)
Clark returned four starters from last season’s Division I-A state runner-up. In addition to early-season victories over Coronado and Eldorado, the Chargers (12-5) knocked off No. 6 Canyon Springs and No. 8 Valley.
All of Clark’s losses are to out-of-state teams, including a 72-58 setback to national No. 1 Mater Dei (Calif.) at the Tarkanian Classic in December.
“I think we proved we can compete with anybody,” Clark senior forward Diontae Jones said. “The lower division or higher division, it doesn’t matter.”
The Chargers do not play another Division I team but meet prep school power La Lumiere (Ind.) on Feb. 8 at Coronado. Beeten also said he expects second-leading scorer Sherron Wilson, out since late December with a broken bone in his foot, to return in time for the Division I-A Southern Region tournament.
“We’d love to get back there (Division I),” Beeten said. “But at the end of the day, we’re going to play who we play, and we’re going to continue to build the best program we can.”
FALCONS WRESTLERS EARN HARDWARE — The Foothill wrestling team won the Mohave Invitational at Bullhead City, Ariz., the first time in eight tries the Falcons have captured the two-day, 16-team tournament.
Foothill scored 582 points, topping second-place Shadow Ridge (556 points). Pahrump Valley was third with 532 points.
Brandon Rios at 138 pounds was the Falcons’ only individual champion. Shadow Ridge’s Elvin Cruz won the 182-pound title and was named the most outstanding heavyweight of the tournament. Jonah McKee was first at 132 for the Mustangs.
RECRUITING WATCH — Green Valley’s Ryan Jackson signed a letter of intent with Kansas for baseball. Brady Hoskins (Shadow Ridge), Josh McCollum (Liberty), Anthony Parry (Durango) and Kaid Urban (Arbor View) signed letters of intent with the College of Southern Nevada baseball program. … Silverado junior Vince Taormina made an oral commitment to UNLV for baseball. … Coronado senior Caden Spilsbury committed to Los Angeles Mission College for baseball. … Bishop Gorman football players Tryson Mook, Zack Singer and Dylan Weldon made oral commitments. Mook, an offensive lineman, picked Colorado Mesa; Singer, a two-way lineman, chose Kent State; and Weldon, a cornerback, selected Columbia.