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VEGAS INVITE: Stars can’t contain St. Joseph shooter in title game loss

Agassi Prep’s boys basketball team will run into some dynamic individual scorers in the Class 2A Southern League this season.

The Stars got a lesson in how to deal with such a scorer Thursday night.

Bebe Vargas scored 42 points to power St. Joseph (Calif.) to an 88-74 win over Agassi Prep in the title game of the Vegas Invitational at Mountain View.

The junior shooting guard had 23 points in the first half to help the Knights build a 45-34 lead. He then made 11-of-18 free throws in the second half to help St. Joseph pull away, and finished 14-for-20 at the foul line.

“He was a big guy, he was agile, and he was aggressive,” Agassi Prep coach Wendell West said of the 6-foot-3-inch Vargas. “It was hard finding somebody to match up with his speed and quickness. When we went with a smaller guy on him, he would overpower him. He was a tough kid, and we gave it all we had.”

Vargas carried the load for the Knights, who played without standout post player Keith Datu, who sat out with an illness.

Agassi Prep (8-3) reached its first Vegas Invitational title game by coming out strong in the second half of each game. But after outscoring the Knights 17-14 in the third quarter of the championship, the Stars were outscored 29-23 in the fourth.

Agassi Prep resorted to fouling early in the fourth period, and St. Joseph wound up 34-for-54 on free throws.

“The other team was the better team tonight. We give them all the credit in the world,” West said. “We worked hard for four games, and we left it all on the court. I’m proud of the boys and happy with the work they put in for four days straight.”

Case Bruton had 13 points and Curry Parham scored 10 for St. Joseph.

Kalinn Jackson hit a 3-pointer to bring Agassi Prep within 59-54 early in the fourth quarter, but Vargas converted a three-point play on St. Joseph’s ensuing possession, and the Stars couldn’t get closer.

Jackson, a senior swingman, poured in 29 points for Agassi Prep. Terrell Kemp added 10 points for the Stars, who got six points and eight rebounds from DeCari Lide and five points and 10 rebounds from Darryl Green.

Lide was named to the all-tournament team.

“The positives start with DeCari Lide, giving us big minutes and big effort every time he was on the court,” West said of his senior guard, who has emerged as a primary scoring option. “Overall, I’m satisfied. But we’ll be in the gym bright and early tomorrow getting ready for conference next week.”

Vargas was named tournament Most Valuable Player. The all-tournament team was rounded out by Lake Mead’s Justin Yamzon, Rancho’s Ciaran Subira, Needles’ Aaron Burns and Buckley’s Tyler Coppin Carter.

Buckley (Calif.) 75, Needles 65 — Marcell Johnson scored 18 points to lead the balanced Griffins past the Mustangs in the third-place game.

Chase Holliday added 13 points for Buckley, which also got double-figure scoring from Austin Beal (11), Austin Butler (10) and Coppin Carter (10).

Michael Hills led Needles with 21 points. Matt McAndrews had 18 points, and Burns scored 11 for the Mustangs.

Rancho 65, Lake Mead 63 — Subira scored 17 points as the Rams held off the Eagles in the fifth-place game.

Chris Beverly had 13 points and Javaoune Robinson scored 12 for Rancho.

Isaiah Timpson made a pair of free throws with 16.1 seconds left to give Rancho a 63-60 lead, and Lake Mead missed a pair of 3-pointers on its next trip down the court.

Yamzon hit six 3-pointers on his way to 34 points to lead Lake Mead.

Desert Christian (Calif.) 38, Pahranagat Valley 36 — Michael Goodnight scored 14 points to help the Knights rally past the Panthers in the consolation final.

Derek Hansen had 13 points and Tyler Higbee scored 11 for Pahranagat Valley, which couldn’t hold a 20-14 halftime lead.

Austin Poulsen nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner to bring Pahranagat Valley within 38-36 with 7.2 seconds left, and the Panthers got the ball back with 3.5 seconds remaining after a Desert Christian turnover. But an attempt at a possible game-tying basket in the post was no good.

The Meadows 65, Clark County (Idaho) 49 — Garrett Gosse poured in 32 points to lead the Mustangs to the win.

Max Newman added 12 points for The Meadows, which used a 19-7 run in the third quarter to pull away.

Justin Bramwell led the Bobcats with 21 points.

Mountain View 61, River Valley (Ariz.) 51 — Trevor Van Kempen scored 12 points to lead the Saints by the Dust Devils.

T.J. Kissinger, Joseph Gueverra and Matthew Larson each scored 11 points for Mountain View, which outscored River Valley 19-10 in the fourth quarter.

John Gutierrez paced the Dust Devils with 18 points.

Spring Mountain 55, Tech 45 — Roemello Brandon racked up 15 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks as the Eagles defeated the Roadrunners.

Marquion White had 20 points and five rebounds for Spring Mountain, and Tyrice Hall supplied 11 points, six rebounds and two steals.

Josh West had 11 points and Tyler Walker scored 10 for Tech.

Calvary Chapel 39, Mammoth (Calif.) 38 — Drew Hammond scored 16 points to help the Lions edge the Huskies.

Cole Presson had 17 points and Fox Kailiawa scored 11 for Mammoth.

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