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Trinity wears down Foothill, reaches Las Vegas tourney final

Updated December 29, 2018 - 12:26 am

Foothill’s boys basketball team was hanging with Trinity on Friday, trailing by six points entering the fourth quarter.

But the Thunder finally wore the Falcons down.

Trinity used its size to create a substantial rebounding advantage and claimed an 80-61 win in the semifinals of the Las Vegas Prep Championship at Las Vegas High.

“They’re a smart club, they’re a good club. We’re just more athletic,” Trinity coach Greg Lockridge said. “We’re a little faster, a little bigger, so we would impose our will at the rim.”

The Thunder outrebounded Foothill 38-15, and that ultimately was the difference for Trinity, which plays a national schedule and doesn’t compete for a state championship.

“The name of the game is points per possession, and rebounds give you possessions,” Lockridge said. “It’s where we run into trouble against the Findlay Preps, the other teams. We’re not as big, but I think we’re big enough. We just don’t do the other things, the box-outs. Here, we didn’t box out well. We had one or two box-outs, but we were just longer.”

Marlin Leston and Zaba Bangala, two 6-foot-8-inch forwards, teamed with 6-5 point guard Daishen Nix to control the glass for the Thunder. Foothill’s tallest player is 6-5, and the Falcons generally play four-guard offenses.

“They got a lot of points off second-chance opportunities,” Foothill coach Paul DeSantis said. “But I was proud of our guys. We had it to six going to the fourth quarter, so our guys were fighting. We’re not faster than them, we’re not stronger than them, we’ve just got to try to play hard.”

A fast-break basket by Foothill’s Jace Roquemore cut the lead to 57-51 after three quarters. But after making 10 of 11 field goals in the third quarter, the Falcons were 3-for-14 in the fourth.

Nix had 24 points, six rebounds and five assists to lead Trinity. Bangala had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Leston added 12 rebounds.

Roquemore had 26 points, four rebounds and three assists for Foothill.

“You can’t say enough about Daishen,” DeSantis said. “He takes over the game sometimes. But I thought our guy was taking over, too. (Roquemore) played well.”

More preps: Follow all of our preps coverage online at nevadapreps.com and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at dseiters@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4597. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.

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