RENO -- Bishop Manogue shocked Bishop Gorman a year ago in the semifinals of the Class 4A boys state basketball tournament.
The Gaels made sure Thursday they would stick around longer this year.
Gorman wasted no time taking control, opening the game with a 24-0 run and breezing to a 73-38 victory over Douglas at Lawlor Events Center.
The Gaels (27-4) will play Hug (24-3), a 70-68 winner over Green Valley in the other semifinal, in the state final at 8 p.m. today at Lawlor.
"We just came in here with a different attitude today," senior forward Rosco Allen said. "We just came in there ready to play and wanted to make a statement from the start."
Gorman certainly did that, with Shabazz Muhammad scoring four seconds into the game to ignite the Gaels.
Allen added a driving layup, Demetris Morant had an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Gio Guzman, and Gorman forced a Douglas timeout only 56 seconds in.
"We've kept with that theme of starting the game really quickly the last four games -- the three games in the (regional) tournament and tonight," Gorman coach Grant Rice said. "We came out and had the lead and played well the first quarter. So that really set the tone for the game."
The Tigers (20-11) missed their first 14 shots before a drive by Nick Maestretti with 1:50 left in the first quarter. Before Maestretti's three-point play put Douglas on the board, the most the school's fans had to cheer was a Gorman turnover. And after the student section erupted following the miscue, the Tigers turned the ball over themselves.
Gorman outrebounded Douglas 16-3 in the first quarter, and that dominance continued throughout the game. The 6-foot-9-inch Allen finished with a game-high 14 rebounds, 12 in the first half. Gorman outrebounded the Tigers, 43-23.
"I knew we wanted to come off to a quick start, so I knew that to get our transition game going we had to get a lot of rebounds just to be able to push the ball," said Allen, who has signed with Stanford. "That was a big focus for me."
Morant had consecutive dunks early in the second quarter as Gorman took a 30-8 lead. The 6-9 Morant finished with 14 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
"When Demetris gets an early dunk or an early blocked shot or two, he's dominant," Rice said of the UNLV recruit. "He's dominant on the defensive end. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for our defense. He's been really big to our play as of late."
Muhammad scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half, matching the entire Douglas team by halftime.
The 6-6 senior swingman was 12-for-17 from the field before leaving the game midway through the third quarter.
"He played really well tonight," Rice said of his star, who was limited to nine points in the 45-44 loss to Manogue at last year's state tournament. "He was efficient. He had limited minutes and he had 27 points, so I was real happy with the way he played tonight and kind of set the tone offensively."
Ben Carter added 10 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Gaels. The 6-8 forward missed the first half of the season with a foot injury.
"Ben is probably the smartest player I've ever coached. At halftime after coaches get together, we go talk to Ben as well and see what he's thinking," Rice said. "He's a complete team guy, and having him healthy has taken our team to another level."
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587.