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Wildcats get in groove, crush Canyon Springs, claim league’s top seed

If there was one sequence that summed up how well things went for the Las Vegas High boys basketball team Wednesday, it came midway through the second quarter.

Trevor Swenson, one of the Wildcats’ top outside shooters, caught the ball on the left wing and was wide open for a 3-pointer. But instead of shooting, Swenson made the extra pass to Patrick Savoy, and the red-hot senior drained a 3 to put Las Vegas up by 11 points.

“That’s what we’re trying to accomplish, even though we don’t always do it,” Las Vegas coach Jason Wilson said. “We want to try to share the ball.”

Tyler Bey had 25 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots, and the host Wildcats routed No. 6 Canyon Springs 77-51 to earn a share of the Northeast League title.

No. 3 Las Vegas (20-7, 7-1 Northeast) finished tied with Valley atop the league standings, but the Wildcats won the tiebreaker and the top seed for the postseason by virtue of their victory over Valley in the team’s second meeting.

“We set a goal at the beginning of the season to win our division, and we got at least a share of it,” Wilson said. “We wanted the No. 1 seed, and we wanted to play a home playoff game, and we accomplished that.”

Devon Colley had 15 of his 18 points in the first half and added five rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Wildcats. Savoy scored all 17 of his points in the first half and pulled down seven boards.

Las Vegas shot 56.8 percent (25-for-44) from the field to overcome 29 turnovers and a 21-for-41 showing from the free-throw line.

The teams were tied at 17 at the end of the first quarter, but Las Vegas outscored the Pioneers 27-5 in the second to take control. Savoy’s 3-pointer off the unselfish feed from Swenson put the Wildcats up 28-17, and Savoy made another 3 to cap a 14-0 run to open the quarter.

After Canyon Springs (16-10, 4-4) cut the deficit to 31-20, the Wildcats closed the half on a 13-2 run. Savoy, who had 13 points in the second quarter, hit a step-back 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to help give Las Vegas a 44-22 halftime lead.

Antonio Longmyers had 17 points and Channel Banks 13 points for the Pioneers, who were without leading scorer Jordan Davis due to injury. Canyon Springs shot 30.3 percent (17-for-56) from the field overall and trailed by 38 points in the fourth quarter.

“Our defense was the difference,” Wilson said. “I think we were too excited in the first quarter. It was ugly; 10 first-quarter turnovers. But we got in a rhythm in the second and third quarter and got it fixed.”

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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