Findlay Prep basketball coach Jerome Williams knows that local teams are always trying to knock off his team.
The Pilots, who started the year as USA Today’s top-ranked team, are used to being the favorite against local talent. Every team throws its best effort in hopes of upsetting Goliath, and it was no different on Saturday at Desert Pines.
Trailing 31-30 at the half, the Pilots turned to big men Kelly Oubre and Craig Victor in the second half to give the Pilots a 70-50 victory over the Jaguars.
Oubre, a University of Kansas signee, scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half and finished with seven rebounds for Findlay Prep. Victor, an Arizona signee, added 13 points and nine rebounds.
“These are playoff atmospheres,” Williams said. “The band, the crowd. This is a hostile environment. Our guys (always) got to be ready. Desert Pines was ready, scrapping from the jump.”
Derryck Thornton led the Pilots (25-4) off the bench with eight points at halftime, and finished with a game-high 14 points.
“He kept us going in the first half and definitely came off the bench with a lot of energy,” Williams said. “That’s what we needed. Their guards are very quick, and he came into the game and was able to match their quickness. That was definitely needed.
Justin Jackson added 11 points, and Rashad Vaughn had nine points, four rebounds and three assists. Vaughn, a McDonald’s All-American who is expected to announce his college decision Tuesday afternoon, said that it’s a rumor his final list is down to Iowa State and UNLV and he is still considering what school he’ll attend.
Coby Myles led the Jaguars (19-4) with 11 points, and teammate Capri Uzan scored 10. Nate Grimes added seven points and 10 rebounds for Desert Pines.
Lincoln County 39, Lake Mead 27 — At Lake Mead, Derek Shumway scored 12 points to lead the Lynx by the Eagles.
Dylan Graham and Trey Vetter each had 10 points for Lake Mead.
Lincoln County 49, Lake Mead 31 — At Lake Mead, Kayla Mathews scored 13 points as the Lynx clinched at least a share of the Division III Southern League title by downing the Eagles.
Savannah Harr added 10 points for Lincoln County, which began the game on a 12-1 run and led 24-8 at the half.
Savannah Schmidt had 11 points, and Shannon Regan scored 10 for Lake Mead.
Needles 49, Laughlin 25 — At Laughlin, Brenna Chavez scored 18 points to help the Mustangs defeat the Cougars.
Jane Antone added 14 points for Needles, which led 30-9 at the half.
Cassie Beggs paced Laughlin with 12 points.
Round Mountain 28, Sandy Valley 21 — At Round Mountain, Morgan Manley had 10 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots to help the Knights top the Sidewinders.
Hannah Swafford had 11 points, and Karissa Brown added five points, five assists and seven steals for Round Mountain.
Nyesha Carter and Breanna Cripe each had six points for Sandy Valley.