Gaels shake off opening jitters, defeat Durango

Bishop Gorman was one of the last area boys basketball teams to begin its season, and the Gaels needed a couple of extra minutes to get going Friday.

Durango took a 9-0 lead before the two-time defending state champion Gaels came alive and earned an 85-52 road victory over the Trailblazers.

"We weathered the storm," Gorman coach Grant Rice said. "We knew that Durango would come out and hit some jump shots and have some energy to start the game."

Tre'Von Wells made two free throws with 5:51 left in the first quarter to put Durango (2-3, 0-1 Southwest) ahead 9-0. Gorman had missed its first three shots and turned the ball over on its other two possessions to start the game.

But the Gaels rallied behind Shabazz Muhammad and Rosco Allen, who combined to score 12 points as Gorman took a 15-14 lead after the quarter.

Guards Johnny Brown and Ryan Parks then combined for 14 second-quarter points to help the Gaels pull away to a 45-26 lead. Brown and Parks were unsung reserves last season but have moved into the starting lineup. Parks showed off his outside shooting, nailing 4 of 5 3-pointers to finish with 12 points.

Brown has a larger role to fill, taking over for last year's Class 4A State Player of the Year Johnathan Loyd at the point.

He did a solid job taking care of the ball Friday; the Gaels had 14 turnovers, but five came in the fourth quarter after Gorman had emptied its bench.

Ben Carter, a 6-foot-8-inch junior, scored 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter, during which he also had four rebounds and seven blocked shots.

"Right away we tried to get him going on a few mismatches," Rice said.

Muhammad finished with 24 points and six rebounds, and his younger brother, Rashad, scored 13. Carter supplied seven rebounds and eight blocks.

Wells led Durango with 19 points.

Contact Prep Sports Editor Damon Seiters at or 702-380-4587.