Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 | 11:30 p.m.
It's a big week for high school basketball in Las Vegas with several marquee games and compelling storylines. Listen as sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer sort through all of them.
Gerad Davis inhaled deeply and pretended to spoon himself food upon checking out of Canyon Springs’ game for the first time with three minutes to go Wednesday night.
It was the perfect choreography for Davis’ saunter down the bench. The senior guard earned the fatigue by feasting on Las Vegas High.
Davis had 36 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and five steals to lead Canyon Springs to a 91-78 victory over Las Vegas
“I zoned out,” Davis said. “I had no idea how many points I had or anything until after the game. I had no pressure. I just did what I was supposed to do.”
Davis intentionally employed the mindset because of the importance of Wednesday’s game. The Pioneers now sit tied with Valley at the top of the Northeast division after three league games.
Canyon Springs coach Freddie Banks had stressed not letting the opportunity to beat the team many considered the Northeast’s best pass. Banks let Davis and his teammates know the value of seizing early control in a league that projects as the most competitive in the valley.
“This is how you’re supposed to play when you play one of your rival teams,” Banks said. “Vegas is one of our rivalries, and they aren’t going to let off. They’re going to always keep fighting and come back.”
As Banks predicted, the Wildcats never stopped trying to persevere. The gap just proved too expansive.
The Pioneers opened on a 19-4 run forcing the Wildcats into twice as many turnovers, eight, as field goal attempts, four, in the first 4:30 of the game.
Davis punctuated the stretch by swiping the ball from Devon Colley right after he crossed midcourt and breaking away for an easy slam dunk. Gerad Davis’ pals were just as aggravating to Las Vegas as fellow senior starter Chris Nelson, younger brother Jordan Davis and lifelong friend Shaq Carr each finished with three steals.
“That’s what we’re here for,” Banks said. “We’ve got to pressure the ball. I’m playing four guards and letting them go after you to pick you apart.”
The Wildcats never trailed by less than double digits after midway through the first quarter. They came close, however, when Colley —11 points, five assists and eight turnovers — calmed down and Ray Smith — 27 points and seven rebounds — heated up in the third quarter.
The duo cut the score to 60-50 with a minute to go, but 20 seconds later Darrell McCall incited the imaginary springs below the seats in the Canyon Springs stands. Everyone in the gym jumped out of their seats as McCall rushed down the court on a fast break and elevated over Deshawn Waters and Smith for one of the best dunks of the year.
“We tell him every day in practice — 'take off!'” Davis said. “If you go at someone 100 percent, you’re either going to dunk on him or get fouled.”
The Pioneers went into the fourth quarter with a 70-52 advantage that felt insurmountable mixed with the emotion they were displaying. Gerad Davis only managed one field goal in the final frame, but that allowed Jordan Davis and Shaq Carr their moments of glory.
The junior Davis had 21 points and five assists. Carr supplemented with 16 points and five rebounds. Both remained on the floor after Banks substituted a player in for Gerad Davis to end his memorable night.
“Gerad did everything right tonight,” Banks said. “This was one of his better games in high school. His best game was right here.”