Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 | 2:05 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer take a look back at the Findlay-Gorman high school basketball game and break down this week's slate of games.
With less than a minute remaining in Friday’s basketball game, Green Valley High senior guard Durrell McDonald dribbled past the full-court press of defenders from visiting Silverado High and found himself in the clear on the fast break.
Instead of continuing for what would have been an easy two points, the guard rifled a perfect pass to teammate Devan Kohn near the basket. Kohn easily converted the layup, putting on the final touches in Green Valley’s 71-58 victory.
The 6-foot-2 McDonald, who this week verbally committed to DePaul, is typically the best player on the court each game and has the ability to score 20-plus points without breaking a sweat.
But that’s not what makes him valuable to the Green Valley team. Rather, it’s his unselfish style of play and willingness to get others involved.
“He’s a special player, hands down there is no doubt about it,” Green Valley coach Lorenzo Jarvis said. “But we’ve had a balanced team all year long. We believe in no heroes. Everyone has to do their job.”
McDonald had 17 points in the win, scoring six in the first quarter as Green Valley (10-11 overall, 7-2 Southeast) opened a 20-10 lead after the initial eight minutes. It would lead by double digits the rest of the game, extending the lead to as many as 27 points in the second half.
“You have to have confidence in yourself and confidence in your team,” McDonald said. “That is what builds championship teams and that is what we are tying to become.”
The energy Green Valley played with early can be partially credited to a vocal student section encouraging them. The game, for all intents and purposes, was over after the first quarter.
“It was a high-intensity game so we knew we had to bring it,” said point guard Ikaika Pladera, who finished with 23 points. “We always come out with a lot of energy. That is the thing with us.”
Silverado (16-4, 7-2) received 22 points from guard Ruben Jackson, but could never recover after falling behind early. It’s simply a minor bump in the road for a Silverado team that hopes to make a run in the postseason.
Coronado, Foothill, Green Valley and Silverado take turns beating each other. Coronado leads the league with an 8-1 record, while the other three teams are even with 7-2 marks.
“All of the teams have different styles,” Silverado coach Martin Ferriter said. “Coronado is tall. Green Valley is extremely athletic. Nobody runs its system better than Foothill. At Silverado, we hang our hat on defense and being consistent, even though we weren’t tonight.”
Jarvis added, “Boys basketball this year is unreal. You can’t sleep on anyone. Any given night, anyone can win. Our side is strong. Night in, night out you have to come with your best game.”