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3A state: Democracy Prep boys survive at buzzer to win title — VIDEO

Updated February 22, 2024 - 11:29 pm

RENO — Democracy Prep was one shot away from a second straight boys basketball state championship.

A 3-pointer from Mater East’s Tru Young hit both sides of the rim, popped up in the air and clinked off the rim one more time on the way down and out as the buzzer rang out.

That sent the Democracy Prep sideline into a frenzy, as the Blue Knights claimed the Class 3A state championship 53-50 on Thursday at Lawlor Events Center.

A year after winning the 2A state title, Democracy Prep (19-7) moved up a classification and still came home with the trophy.

The win avenged a 60-59 loss to Mater East (16-7) in the Southern Region final Feb. 16.

“I’m just elated right now,” Democracy Prep coach Cory Duke said.

Democracy Prep led 49-47 after an inside bucket from freshman Dion Parker with 1:48 to play.

After a Mater East miss, Democracy Prep burned nearly 70 seconds off the clock with high-level ball control before Mater East was forced to foul.

“That’s something, to be honest with you, we’ve struggled with,” Duke said of free-throw shooting. “They came through and did it as good as I’ve ever seen a team do it to finish a game.”

Jamarion Taylor, who finished with eight points, hit both of his free throws to give Democracy Prep a 51-47 advantage with 23.3 seconds to go.

Kobe Robinson hit a quick 3 for Mater East to make it 51-50 with 11.3 seconds remaining.

After a foul, Mario Allen didn’t flinch in his trip to the charity stripe, sinking the final two free throws to put Democracy Prep up 53-50 with 10.1 seconds left.

“I feel like tonight we were just more together,” said Josiah Stroughter, who finished with a team-high 16 points. “We knew what the purpose was, and it was for a bigger reason.”

Tai Coleman had 13 points for Democracy Prep, and Dion Parker added 10.

Duke said the team’s defensive effort against a bigger Mater East squad was the deciding factor.

“Our grit defensively,” Duke said. “Digging down on the post and making sure we contested everything.”

No. 2S Sierra Vista vs. No. 2N Damonte Ranch, late: Results from the Class 4A title game were not available at press deadline.


No. 1N Bishop Manogue 52, No. 2N Spanish Springs 36: At Lawlor Events Center, the Miners (26-1) defeated the Cougars (19-12) to take the 4A state championship, their first title since winning 3A in 2003.

No. 1N Lowry 61, No. 2N Fernley 56: At Lawlor Events Center, the Buckaroos (22-6) claimed their third straight 3A state title, rallying from a 52-45 deficit with 4:33 to go against the Vaqueros (29-3).

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