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TARKANIAN CLASSIC: Robotham leads Gaels to home win

Noah Robotham was happy to be home.

Robotham made four 3-pointers and scored 16 points as the host Bishop Gorman boys basketball team walloped Lynwood (Calif.) 63-43 in the opening game of the Tarkanian Classic on Wednesday.

It was the first home game for the Gaels (3-2), who opened the season with a victory at Faith Lutheran before playing games in Chicago and Phoenix.

“It’s good to finally play back in Vegas,” Robotham said. “We had three tough games on the road, and it’s good to come home and play. There’s nothing like playing in front of the hometown fans.”

Stephen Zimmerman added 16 points, nine rebounds and two steals, and teammate Chase Jeter finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for Gorman, which hosts Sheldon (Calif.) at 3:20 p.m. Thursday in the Platinum Division.

Nick Blair chipped in with 10 points, four rebounds and four steals for the Gaels.

“We’re really deep,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “Everybody knows about Noah and (Zimmerman) and Jeter, but we’ve got 10 to 12 guys who can really play.

“I thought Nick Blair was really good. He’s an x-factor.”

Gorman never trailed, opening the game on a 16-3 run that Robotham capped with a pull-up 3-pointer in transition. The Gaels had a 32-20 advantage at halftime, and led 42-28 with 11:55 left in the second half when Zimmerman was whistled for a technical foul — and his fourth personal foul — after throwing down a ferocious follow-up dunk.

Kevin Miller made both free throws to bring Lynwood within 12 points, but the Gaels answered with a 16-5 run to regain control.

“We’re battle-tested early,” Robotham said. “We’ve played three national games. We need that. We need to be battle-tested so we’ll be ready when the tougher games come.”

Jeter had six points in the decisive second-half spurt, including a dunk in transition and a three-point play following a high-low feed from Zach Collins to put the Gaels on top 50-33.

Zimmerman then gave Gorman its biggest lead of the game at 58-35 when he put back his own miss with 6:32 remaining.

Gorman shot 45.1 percent from the field (23-for-51), but the Gaels struggled at the free-throw line, making just 12 of 24.

“The first game of a tournament, you’re always a little worried,” Rice said. “It wasn’t our best performance, but we had some good runs and Noah was shooting the ball like Noah shoots it. For the first (tournament) game, to win by 20 is nice.”

Miller led the Knights with a game-high 22 points, including 15 in the second half.

Findlay Prep 79, Faith Baptist Christian Academy (Ga.) 48 — At Gorman, Kelly Oubre finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and the Pilots routed the Knights in the Prep School Division.

Craig Victor had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Derryck Thornton chipped in with 14 points and seven assists for Findlay Prep, which closed the first half on a 17-5 run to take a 35-19 lead at the break.

Rashad Vaughn chipped in 11 points, two rebounds and two assists for the Pilots. Findlay Prep meets Prime Prep (Texas) at 5 p.m. Friday at Orleans Arena.

Jahman Dalancy and Rashaan Benson led Faith Baptist Christian Academy with 11 points each.

Mater Dei (Calif.) 84, Foothills Christian (Calif.) 45 — At Gorman, Stanley Johnson had a career-high 42 points, and the three-time defending California state champion Monarchs rolled past the Knights.

The Arizona-bound Johnson scored 24 in the second half for Mater Dei, which led 38-22 at halftime. The Monarchs take on Clark at 6 p.m. Thursday at Gorman in the Platinum Division.

T.J. Leaf, one of the nation’s top sophomores, led Foothills Christian with 25 points before leaving late in the second half with an injured left shoulder.

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