Jesse Granger / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Ray Brewer and Case Keefer sift through the basketball standings, and make their picks for this week's games.
It usually is one of the Las Vegas area’s best attended high school basketball games of the season. The “Big City Showdown” between Bishop Gorman and Findlay Prep is typically closely contested and features top college recruits.
But the annual meeting between the powers at 6 p.m. Saturday at South Point Arena isn’t the lone game of interest in the showdown. South Point is hosting five high school games, starting with a pair of girls contests in the early afternoon.
Gorman-Findlay Prep was previously held at the Orleans Arena and Cox Pavilion before finding a longtime home at South Point. It’s blossomed from one game to a daylong celebration of local hoops.
“It’s just a great day of basketball,” said Steve Stallworth, general manager of the South Point Arena. “We are thrilled to host this. Let’s showcase our local teams.”
Gorman beat Findlay Prep for the initial time in 2014 to take the rivalry to new heights. Findlay won last season, when Stallworth said the attendance was about 2,500.
“We've had some real good battles with those guys,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. "It is a rivalry, but it is a friendly rivalry. It's great to play (this game) for the city of Las Vegas. It's a pride thing. We look forward to playing those guys every year."
Findlay Prep (21-2) is ranked No. 6 by USA Today. It is led by 7-foot-2 center Bol Bol, a McDonald’s All-American and the son of former NBA notable, Manute. Gorman (15-3), a consensus top-40 team, is coming off an 82-80 overtime win Monday against respected California program Sierra Canyon.
Gorman has a core-group of younger players who are considered some of the best nationally, including sophomores Noah Taitz and Isaiah Cottrell, and freshmen Zaon Collins and Will McClendon. And senior Jamal Bey, a Washington commit, is averaging 25 points per game.
“We had a great win on Monday,” Rice said. "The kids battled back. It gave us some confidence."
The games begin at 11:30 a.m. when the Coronado girls play Desert Oasis. At 1 p.m., Bishop Gorman’s girls take on Liberty. The boys games start at 2:30 p.m. with Durango and Liberty, followed by a 4 p.m. tilt between Coronado and Clark. General admission tickets are $15 for adults; $7 for students, military and seniors.
The showcase is especially important to South Point owner and Gorman graduate Michael Gaughan, Stallworth said. And prominent car dealer Cliff Findlay, who created Findlay Prep in the early 2000s and helps sponsor many sporting events in town, is always front-and-center for the festivities. Those festivities this year include UNLV hype man Jersey Goldman hosting on-court promotions during timeouts.
“We are proud to be associated with this,” Stallworth said.