January 14, 2014 - 10:55 am
Horace Spencer isn’t the highest-profile recruit on the Findlay Prep basketball team, and he was far from the leading scorer for the Pilots on Saturday.
But no player had a bigger impact on the outcome of the game.
Spencer had 13 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots as Findlay Prep defeated Impact Academy 80-55 in the Las Vegas Showcase at Bishop Gorman.
“He really set the tone for us, sprinting down and contesting every shot and being a force down low in the paint,” Findlay coach Jerome Williams said of the 6-foot-8-inch Spencer. “Really, his energy is what makes a huge difference for us. His energy is contagious. He got a lot of guys active and really making them do more.”
That was especially true on the offensive glass. The Pilots (19-3) struggled to make shots in the first half but made up for it with hustle. Findlay Prep outrebounded Impact 29-15 in the first half and had 20 second-chance points in taking a 43-30 halftime lead.
The Pilots settled in offensively in the second half and extended their lead. A 13-4 run to start the third quarter pushed the lead to 56-34 on a three-point play by Kelly Oubre with 4:08 left in the quarter.
“Kelly Oubre really came back in the second half and pounded the paint,” Williams said. “He really put that senior leader on his back and went in there and said, ‘I’m going to get buckets from the paint rather than just from the outside.’ ”
The 6-7 Oubre, who has signed with Kansas, had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Derryck Thornton had 12 points and three assists.
“Derryck Thornton and Kelly Oubre really took it upon themselves to lead the team and put the ball in a position where we can get what we want accomplished, whether it was down low or attacking the rim,” Williams said.
Arizona-bound forward Craig Victor had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Justin Jackson grabbed 12 rebounds for the Pilots, who outrebounded Impact 47-37.
Findlay Prep played its fifth straight game without star guard Rashad Vaughn, who continues to rest his ailing left knee. Williams said he expects Vaughn back within the next 10 days.
“He’s getting healthy,” Williams said. “… He’s going to be back in a few days for us. We’re very cautious with him. There’s no rush. That’s a prime-time basketball player who’s the MVP of our team.”
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at dseiters@reviewjournal or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.