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NOTES: Tarkanian Classic continues rise as premier holiday tourney

The Tarkanian Classic boys basketball tournament nearly doubled in size this year. And it could have been even larger.

“We actually had to turn some teams down,” said Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice, the tournament’s co-director. “It’s really expanding just by word-of-mouth. The Tarkanian name has helped out, and we’re extremely excited to honor Coach Tark with this.”

The third annual Tarkanian Classic, which starts today and concludes Saturday, has quickly developed into one of the nation’s premier holiday prep tournaments. This year’s event features three 16-team high school brackets — up from two brackets last year — along with an expanded 18-team prep school division.

The majority of the games take place at Bishop Gorman, Faith Lutheran and Heinrich YMCA. There also will be six games Friday at Orleans Arena.

Bishop Gorman will participate in the Platinum Division along with defending Division I-A state champion Clark. Gorman opens at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday against Windward (Calif.), which features Shaquille O’Neal’s son Shareef, a 6-foot-7-inch freshman. The Premier Division includes three local teams, and the Select Division bracket has four area teams.

The title game for the Platinum Division is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at Gorman. The Premier Division final is set for 2:20 p.m. at Gorman, and the Select Division title game will take place at 1 at Gorman.

“I was talking to one of the scouts the other day, and he said that he hasn’t seen as many possible McDonald’s All-Americans in one tournament in an awful long time,” Rice said.

Findlay Prep will play two games in the prep school division, which includes teams from Australia, Bahamas, Germany and New Zealand. The Pilots open at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday against Wasatch Academy (Utah).

■ OBLAD HONORED — Coronado senior middle blocker Berkeley Oblad was chosen as the Gatorade Nevada Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-4-inch Oblad led the Cougars (34-7) to their second consecutive Division I state title last month. She recorded 272 kills with a .442 hitting percentage to go with 69 blocks and 41 service aces.

Oblad, who signed with Utah, now is eligible for the national player of the year award.

■ JEFFERSON IN ALL-STAR GAME — Liberty senior defensive lineman Noah Jefferson was selected to play in the fourth annual Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 at Carson, Calif.

Jefferson had 37 tackles and 7½ sacks for the Patriots (10-3) this season. The 6-6, 285-pound standout has orally committed to Southern California.

■ CLAYTON LEAVES — Pahrump Valley football coach Joe Clayton resigned recently after going 9-19 in three seasons with the Trojans.

Pahrump Valley finished 4-5 this season, including victories over Cheyenne and Sierra Vista, which each made the Division I-A playoffs.

In Clayton’s first season, the Trojans qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2006.

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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