Bishop Gorman sophomore forward Isaiah Cottrell scored 20 points, and the host Gaels made 9 of 12 free throws in the final 36 seconds, to hang on for a 69-63 victory over Salesian (California) in a Platinum Division semifinal of the Tarkanian Classic on Friday.
Second-ranked Bishop Gorman (8-1) will face No. 1 Clark (10-0) in the championship game at 5:20 p.m. Saturday at Gorman. The teams played in last season’s state final, with the Gaels winning 62-58, and were scheduled to play on Jan. 30.
“It’s going to be a battle,” Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “This one’s not for the state championship or even the Sunset (Region) championship or league title. It’s, pretty much, for bragging rights. To see who’s ahead of the game. It’s going to be fun.
“In reality, (Clark coach) Chad (Beeten) and I probably would rather wait. But it is what it is. Neither one of us is not going to try and take advantage of this.”
Washington-bound senior Jamal Bey finished with 18 points against Salesian, and scored eight of the team’s first 10 points out of locker room to build on Gorman’s 25-24 halftime lead.
Noah Taitz, who had 15 points, hit the go-ahead 3-pointer from the corner off an assist by Zaon Collins to make it 49-46 with 4:24 seconds remaining. The 6-foot-3-inch sophomore also hit a three just two possessions later to extend the lead to 53-48.
“Dagger,” Rice said of Taitz’s second 3-pointer. “It’s one of those where you’re not sure if you should shoot it or not. Where you’re like, ‘No, no,’ but then it goes in and you’re like ‘Great shot.’
“We want the ball in Noah’s hands. And the last few plays, when we had to get the ball in, we ran inbounds plays for him.”
Taitz made all four of his free throws late, and Gorman finished 19-for-25 from the line. Will McClendon added eight points for the Gaels who, with Clark, were seeded in the top four of the 16-team platinum bracket comprised of national talent.
Rice said he didn’t know if the local matchup would happen, but is anxious for the opportunity.
“It’s such a solid tournament, with so many good teams. You just never know how it’s going to work out,” Rice said. “I’m excited we both played well.”
James Akinjo led the Pride with 21 points.
Clark 57, Putnam City North (Okla.) 49 — At Bishop Gorman, Jalen Hill scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second half as the Chargers held off the Panthers in a Platinum Division semifinal.
UNLV recruit Trey Woodbury hit three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points, and James Bridges scored 12 for Clark, which led 25-14 at halftime.
Adokiye Iyaye, who is committed to Texas-San Antonio, led Putnam City North with 16 points.
Coronado 67, Camarillo (Calif.) 64 — At Coronado, freshman guard Jaden Hardy converted the go-ahead, three-point play with 35 seconds left to lift the Cougars past the Scorpions in the Orleans Division.
Hardy finished with 29 points.
Eric Alston and Tyrelle Hunt scored 16 apiece for Coronado, which led 30-29 at the break.
Jaime Jaquez led Camarillo with 29 points.
Oak Ridge (Calif.) 58, Arbor View 53 — At Faith Lutheran, Jarrod Burks had 12 points, and Tyre Williams scored 11 in the Aggies’ loss to the Trojans in the Eastbay Division.
Donovan Yap had nine points for Arbor View, which made only 11 of 20 free throws.
Cade Hoppe led Oak Ridge with 19 points.
Riverside Poly (Calif.) 65, Sierra Vista 56 — At Faith Lutheran, Maka Ellis scored 18 points in the Mountain Lions’ loss to the Bears in the Eastbay Division.
David Howard added 13 points, and Isaiah Veal and Jalen McFadden each scored eight for Sierra Vista.
Lamont Butler scored a game-high 24 points for Riverside Poly.
Millennium (Ariz.) 56, Cheyenne 54 — At Faith Lutheran, Kavon Williams scored 18 points in the Desert Shields’ loss to the Tigers in the Eastbay Division.
De’Kquante Hayes and Jaden Young scored 10 apiece for Cheyenne, which trailed 30-22 at halftime.
Justus Jackson had 15 points for Millennium.
Dominguez (Calif.) 75, Faith Lutheran 72 — At Faith Lutheran, Dalton Kincaid poured in 27 points in the Crusaders’ loss to the Dons in the Eastbay Division.
Jaylen Fox had 22 points, and Josh Hong scored eight for Faith Lutheran, which trailed 35-23 at halftime.
Wayne Arnold scored 29 points for Dominguez.
Campbell Hall (Calif.) 65, Democracy Prep 61 — At Faith Lutheran, Daniel Plummer hit 10 of 12 free throws and finished with 21 points in the Blue Knights’ overtime loss to Vikings in the Gatorade Division.
Democracy Prep rallied from a 31-20 halftime deficit and led 54-51 with 13.6 seconds remaining. But Campbell Hall’s Chris Garnett nailed a long 3-pointer from the wing off an inbounds play to tie it up and send it to overtime.
The Vikings outscored Democracy Prep 11-7 in overtime, thanks to six points from Mike Meadows, who finished with a game-high 23 points. Kyle Beedon gave Campbell Hall a 63-61 lead with an and-one, and Meadows sealed the win with two free throws.
Akeemis Williams added 17 points for Democracy Prep, and teammate Sameel Anderson scored nine.
Basic 54, La Salle Prep (Ore.) 43 — At Coronado, Geoff Faries made five 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 27 points in a victory over the Falcons in the Gatorade Division.
No other player had more than six points for Basic, which led 31-20 at the break.
Tabor Bosco led La Salle Prep with 11 points.
Las Vegas 78, Palo Verde 65 — At Coronado, Donovan Joyner and Zach Matlock scored 18 points apiece to guide the Wildcats over the Panthers in the Gatorade Division.
Jaylin Headen added 16 points for Las Vegas, which led 34-18 at halftime.
Tieman Allen scored 18 points for Palo Verde.
Mojave 64, C.I. Gibson (Bahamas) 53 — At Coronado, Chris Jackson led Mojave with 15 points and helped ot defeat C.I. Gibson in the Gatorade Division.
Tyrice Pender had 13 points, and John Harper scored 12 for Mojave, which led 38-25 at halftime.
Canby (Ore.) 50, Western 41 — At Desert Oasis, Kizhonie Blount scored 23 points as the Warriors fell to the Cougars in the Nike Division.
The Cougars connected on eight 3-pointers to pull away from the Warriors.
Del Sol 60, Valley 46 — At Desert Oasis, Tyrell Hampton, Devonte Vallarta and Maalik Flowers each scored 10 points to lead the Dragons past the Vikings in the Nike Division.
Keith Seldon added seven points for Del Sol, which led 29-14 at the half.
Bryce Jones scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Vikings.
Desert Pines 71, St. Louis (Hawaii) 54 — At Faith Lutheran, Darius Mitchell led all scorers with 20 points to lead the Jaguars to a victory over the Crusaders in the Select Division.
Dayshawn Wiley added 15 points for Desert Pines, which also got strong contributions from Darnell Washington (13 points) and Lorenzo Brown (11 points).
Lachlan Hannemen led St. Louis with 19 points.
Desert Oasis 76, Godby (Fla.) 67 — At Desert Oasis, Jacob Heese scored 41 points, including going 19-for-19 from the free-throw line, to lead the Diamondbacks past the Cougars in the Select Division.
Manny Mitchell added 10 points for Desert Oasis, which finished 25-for-30 from the foul line.
Capital Christian (Calif.) 63, Desert Pines 43 — At Desert Oasis, Dashawn Wiley scored 11 points as the Jaguars fell to the Cougars in the Select Division.
Darnell Washington and Darius Mitchell each scored nine points for Desert Pines, which got out-scored 39-17 in the second half.
Culver City (Calif.) 68, Liberty 66 — At Desert Oasis, Julian Strawther scored 26 points in the Patriots’ loss to the Centaurs in the Select Division.
Cameron Burist added 22 points for Liberty, which led 33-32 at halftime.
Capital Christian (Calif.) 70, Shadow Ridge 31 — At Desert Oasis, Chris Gerald scored nine points as the Mustangs fell to the Cougars in the Select Division.
Jacob Schilder added eight points for Shadow Ridge, which could never recover from a 37-21 first-half deficit.
Liberty 69, Godby (Fla.) 60 — At Desert Oasis, Strawther scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Patriots past the Cougars in the Select Division.
Jordan Holt added 11 points for Liberty, which started the game on a 10-0 run to give the Patriots a lead they would never relinquish.
Juan Diego (Utah) 60, Shadow Ridge 47 — At Faith Lutheran, the Soaring Eagle defeated the Mustangs in the Select Division.
Culver City (Calif.) 90, Desert Oasis 87 — At Bishop Gorman, the Diamondbacks fell to the Centaurs in overtime in the Select Division.