December 24, 2013 - 10:15 pm
The holiday season typically provides plenty of gifts for local prep basketball fans, and this year is no different.
Four tournaments begin this week, highlighted by the boys’ Las Vegas Prep Championship at Las Vegas High and Valley, along with the girls’ Las Vegas Holiday Classic at Centennial.
The 24-team Las Vegas Prep Championship, which includes eight area schools and plenty of high-level talent, opens Thursday.
Host Las Vegas is led by junior small forward Re’Kwon Smith, a UNLV recruiting target who is coming off a 43-point performance in the Wildcats’ 95-56 win over Cimarron-Memorial on Dec. 18. The 6-foot-7-inch standout earned another scholarship offer last week, this one from Oklahoma.
Valley features senior forward Spencer Mathis (Northern Colorado). Also, Douglas 6-10 center James Herrick is averaging a double-double and drawing Division I interest.
The final of the Las Vegas Prep Championship is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday at Las Vegas High.
The Las Vegas Holiday Classic is one of three girls tourneys starting this week. The 20-team tournament features six area teams — led by No. 1 Centennial and No. 2 Liberty — in addition to Reno, which returned senior Shalen Shaw and sisters Mallory and Morgan McGwire from last season’s state title-winning team.
The Holiday Classic opens Friday, and the final is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. Monday at Centennial.
Finally, the 12-team Lady Wolves Holiday Tournament at Basic and the 12-team Vegas Invitational at Mountain View open Thursday. The final of the Lady Wolves tourney is slated for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Basic, and the Vegas Invitational title game takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday.
If those tournaments aren’t enough, the new year serves up the boys’ 30-team Foothill Holiday Classic (Jan. 2 to 4), the boys’ 12-team Vegas Invitational at Mountain View (Jan. 2 to 4) and the Gator Winter Classic, a 20-team girls tournament at Green Valley (Jan. 1 to 4).
GAELS IN FINAL RANKINGS — The Bishop Gorman football team, fresh off its fifth consecutive state title, finished No. 30 in USA Today’s final rankings. The Gaels (13-2) were No. 21 in the final Student Sports Fab 50 poll.
Booker T. Washington (Fla.), which defeated Gorman 28-12 on Oct. 4, finished No. 1 in both polls. Mountain Pointe (Ariz.), a 28-21 winner over Gorman in the season-opening Sollenberger Classic, was ranked sixth by USA Today and No. 9 by Student Sports.
RECRUITING WATCH — Coronado senior outside hitter Brooke Garlick made an oral commitment to Hawaii Pacific. … Legacy senior defensive back Casey Hughes orally committed to Utah.