December 28, 2017 - 9:06 pm
Jason Wilson has coached Las Vegas High School’s varsity boys basketball team for 10 years, and has never won the Las Vegas Prep Championship.
That could change Friday.
The Wildcats, who host the event, outlasted Desert Pines for a 58-48 victory in the tournament semifinals Thursday night, and will play Eldorado for the championship at 1 p.m. Friday.
Donovan Joyner had a game-high 23 points for Las Vegas, and Jaylin Headen and Mory Souhamoro each scored 11.
The Wildcats attacked the Jaguars’ 2-3 zone defense, and built a sustainable 19-5 lead after the first quarter.
“It gives you confidence and it gives you a cushion, so you can make some mistakes, like we did,” Wilson said. “It was pretty even the rest of the game. The cushion helped, definitely.”
Desert Pines pulled within six points in the third quarter, but the Wildcats responded to its runs with runs of their own. Joyner was aggressive, and either called his own number or found teammates in transition.
The Jaguars didn’t abandon their zone defense until late in the fourth quarter despite trailing by double figures for most of the second half, allowing the Wildcats to stall on offense and chew away some valuable time.
“We withstood their run,” Wilson said. “(We) figured it out … and did enough to win.”
Eldorado 67, Legacy 60 — Sundevils wing Jonathan Thomas made three 3-pointers to finish with a team-high 18 points in a victory over the Longhorns in the other semifinal.
Jordan Carter had 15 points for Eldorado.
Cristian Pitts scored 19 points for Legacy.
Innovations International 46, Chaparral 36 — Justin Evans scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Ambassadors past the Cowboys in consolation play.
Jordan Allison scored 13 for Innovations International.
Jonathan Tendale led Chaparral with 13 points.
Valley 47, Western 42 — Oscar Burns and Tommy Anderson scored 15 points apiece to help the Vikings beat the Warriors in consolation play.
Andre Jones scored nine points for Valley, which led 32-26 at the break.
Kizhonie Blunt and Keanu McGee both had 13 points for Western.