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Findlay Prep 16-0 after 34-point win

Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck does his best to quell talk of an undefeated season.

But his players have been thinking about it all along.

“That’s been our goal since the beginning of the year,” senior guard Avery Bradley said Saturday. “And I think we can accomplish it.”

The Pilots’ latest step came on the road in an 85-51 dismantling of two-time defending Northeast League champion Canyon Springs.

Ranked No. 2 nationally in the USA Today Super 25 poll, Findlay Prep (16-0) never trailed after sprinting to a 23-4 first-quarter lead.

“Our guys have just gotten out of the gate quickly,” Peck said. “They jump on people. I think part of that is they take pride in their defense, and they’ve done the work in our preseason conditioning.”

Illinois signee D.J. Richardson compiled 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Pilots. Bradley, who has signed with Texas, had 16 points and eight of Findlay Prep’s 26 assists.

“We just distributed the ball to each other and played as a team,” Bradley said.

Godwin Okonji (15 points, 12 rebounds), Cory Joseph (12 points, six assists) and Issiah Grayson (12 points) also scored in double figures.

Findlay Prep played without 6-foot-8-inch swingman Victor Rudd, who Peck said is being recruited by UNLV, Gonzaga and Arizona.

Rudd participated in warm-ups and suited up but did not play because of an “undisclosed team issue,” Peck said.

UNLV signee Carlos Lopez had four points and nine rebounds to help fill the void, and the Pilots were never threatened after sinking 9 of 10 3-pointers in the first half.

“We held them under 90,” Pioneers coach Daryl Branham said. “Not that that was one of our goals, but I thought defensively, we played almost as well as we could have.”

Jared Brandon scored 15 points and Michael Thompson 12 for Canyon Springs (11-6), which outscored Findlay Prep 22-17 in the fourth quarter.

Because Findlay Prep is not affiliated with the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, it cannot compete for a state title. But a national crown might be within reach.

“Our goal this year was to be undefeated and a national championship,” Bradley said. “I think we have a good chance of doing both of those.”

Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203.

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