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October 22, 2018

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Bol Bol carries Findlay Prep to win in annual game with Gorman

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Steve Marcus

Findlay Prep’s Bol Bol slams down the final two points during the Findlay Toyota Big City Showdown against Bishop Gorman High School at the South Point Arena Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

Big City Showdown 2018: Findlay Prep downs Gorman

Findlay Prep's Bol Bol warms up before the Findlay Toyota Big City Showdown between Findlay Prep and Bishop Gorman High School at the South Point Arena Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Launch slideshow »
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Findlay Prep big man Bol Bol ran down the court at South Point Arena as time expired. The 7-foot-3 senior soared toward the rim, whipped the ball around with his spindly arm and finished the windmill dunk.

It capped off a monster night for Bol, who led the Pilots to a 75-68 over Bishop Gorman Saturday night in the annual Big City Showdown.

Bol is ranked as No. 4 prospect in the 2018 class according to ESPN, and is committed to Oregon. Saturday night he showed why he’s so highly coveted as he dominated the Gaels near the basket with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

“He’s a McDonald’s All-American for a reason,” Findlay Prep coach Paul Washington said. “Our goal while he’s here is to improve his skills and get him ready to succeed at Oregon. We have to make sure he does what he needs to do defensively and pass the ball.”

Bol, the son of former NBA player Manute, controlled the game with his presence in the paint. He also showed off his court vision by passing out of double teams.

“He can see over the defenders no matter how tall they are and he makes things easier on us,” Findlay Prep senior Kyler Edwards said.

Bol was effective on the defensive end as well, recording three blocks forcing Gorman to earn its points on the perimeter. The Gaels were able to connect on 10-of-30 three pointers to stay close to Findlay Prep, but in the end their inability to get inside was their downfall.

Findlay Prep has now won two straight matchups against the Gaels, and three of the last four.

“When you talk about Findlay Prep it’s not a traditional high school so we don’t have prom, or homecoming,” Washington said. “This is our prom. To play Bishop Gorman in a neutral site like this and have everyone come out. My job as coach is to get the newcomers to understand the rivalry and not just take it like another game.”

The contest was highly contested, with multiple dust ups in the second half including one where Pilots guard T.J. Moss was ejected from the game for putting his forearm into a Gorman player after the play.

“It’s an important game,” said Edwards, who finished with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists. “I wasn’t here last year but I know how important it is to the state of Nevada. I could feel the intensity from the jump.”

The Pilots led 39-27 at halftime and appeared to be in control until a late run by the Gaels fueled largely by sophomore guard Noah Taitz.

Taitz led Gorman with 28 points, two rebounds and three assists. He hit four 3-pointers, three in the second half, to help the Gaels cut the deficit to 69-65 with 2:28 left in the game, but it never got closer than that.

“We just played our game,” Edwards said.

Gorman star Jamal Bey scored 11 points, but struggled from the floor shooting only 3-for-17t.

Nearly 3,000 of fans were in attendance to create a unique atmosphere for a high school basketball game.

“It gives you that NCAA feeling,” Washington said. “It gives you that college feel and that’s good. When we play at Henderson International we don’t get anywhere near this.”

Bol’s emphatic slam dunk in the final seconds put an exclamation point on another great performance by the Pilots in the annual showdown.

“That was a relief for him,” Washington said. “He had to sit down with four fouls. He was kind of frustrated so that was his way of getting it all off his chest at the end.”