Gorman’s boys team stands tall defensively in win over Western

Last season, Bishop Gorman’s boys basketball team often relied on the explosive athleticism of guards Johnathan Loyd, Anson Winder and Taylor Spencer.

With those three having graduated, the Gaels have replaced that quickness with size.

Gorman (9-3, 4-0 Southwest League) took advantage of its size Tuesday, blocking 12 shots and dominating on the glass on the way to a 75-53 home victory over Western (13-2, 2-1).

"We’re not quite as quick as last year, but definitely a lot bigger and longer," said Gorman coach Grant Rice, whose team had a 41-25 rebounding edge. "So we’ve got to keep adjusting and use our strengths."

On Tuesday, that meant going to a 1-3-1 zone in the second quarter. Rice said the Gaels didn’t play a single possession of zone last season, but the defense was effective Tuesday.

With 6-foot-9-inch Rosco Allen on the top of the zone and Shabazz Muhammad (6-6), Ronnie Stanley (6-7) and Ben Carter (6-8) extending across the middle, Gorman was easily able to cover the court and disrupt Western’s offense.

"We like to have Rosco out there on the top," Rice said. "And then big Ronnie Stanley (275 pounds) clogs up the middle, and then you’ve got Shabazz and Ben Carter on the wings. So that’s some real length there."

The Gaels, who also got 6-9 Demetris Morant, a transfer from Mountain View (Ariz.), onto the court Tuesday, blocked six shots in the second quarter alone, helping them extend their lead to 41-27 at the half.

Western was 2-for-14 from the field in the quarter.

Allen and Carter led the way early. Allen had six points and three assists in the first quarter. Carter was 4-for-4 from the field, and he scored nine of his 11 points in the opening period.

Then Muhammad got hot from the perimeter, hitting 5 of 8 3-pointers. He hit four 3-pointers in the first half, when he scored 18 of his game-high 27 points. He also had eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

"Rosco Allen really pushed the tempo in the first quarter," Rice said. "He and Ben Carter really got us going, and then Shabazz carried us through."

Allen finished with 21 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.

"We’re even trying to play him some at point guard," Rice said of Allen. "He can definitely handle the ball, and I thought he was great tonight. He was aggressive in the first half."

Carter had 11 rebounds and four blocks, and Stanley and Morant each blocked two shots for the Gaels.

Patrick Branch came off the bench to lead Western with 11 points. Kenyon Washington added 10 points for the Warriors.

Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at dseiters@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4587.

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