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August 25, 2019

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Gorman basketball puts up strong fight at nationals, falls in double OT to Indiana power

Las Vegas Sun High School Basketball Media Day 2018

Christopher DeVargas

Bishop Gorman basketball players, from left, Zaon Collins, Chance Michels, Isaiah Cottrell, Will McClendon and Noah Taitz are shown at the Las Vegas Sun’s Media Day at Red Rock Resort, Oct. 30, 2018.

Updated Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 4:04 p.m.

The Bishop Gorman High basketball team missed 13 consecutive shots in the first half of its quarterfinal game against La Lumiere of Indiana today at the Geico Nationals in New York.

Yet, the Gaels didn’t stay cold for long against the undefeated opponent and the eight-team tournament’s top seed. They made five 3-pointers in the third quarter to get back into the game and eventually forced overtime after Will McClendon buried a 25-footer at the end of regulation.

The Nevada state champions, though, came out on the wrong end of the back-and-forth finish on ESPNU, falling 74-69 in double overtime.

“Our guys made a great effort,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “We knew they were good, but our guys were confident coming in. We thought we had a real good chance.”

Chance Michels, Gorman’s lone senior contributor, started the comeback in the second quarter with a 3-pointer to stop the scoring drought with about two minutes to play before halftime.

Gorman would score the next eight points to prevent the game for becoming lopsided. It opened the third quarter as a different shooting team, with Michels, Noah Taitz, Isaiah Cottrell and McClendon each making 3-pointers.

But Lumiere and power forward Isaiah Stewart, a top-10 player for the class of 2019, were too much. Stewart led all scorers with 25 points and was tough to handle on in the interior with four blocks. He also got to the free throw line in making 11 of 11 attempts, as Lumiere attempted 35 free throws in comparison to Gorman's seven.

That set the stage for the closely contested fourth quarter and overtime, as each team had multiple chances to prevail. La Lumiere missed shots at the regulation and first overtime buzzer, one of which rattled in and out.

"We had a chance to win if we would have made another shot or two," Rice said.

McClendon led Gorman with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Taitz had 16 points, Zaon Collins followed with 12 points and seven assists, Cottrell had 10 points and three blocks, and Michels finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

"We made several big shots toward the end, but we missed a few that could have won the game," Rice said.