LAS VEGAS –
The Tarkanian Classic's reigning MVP didn't take long to mark his territory.
The Classic offered up a three-game slate Wednesday night that included local powers Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
and Findlay Prep (Henderson)
But it was senior star Stanley Johnson
of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
that stole the show with a 42-point effort in an 84-45 win over Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.)
The Monarchs – who defeated Bishop Gorman in last year's Tarkanian final behind Johnson's MVP performance – were slow out of the gate Wednesday and trailed the heavy underdog seven minutes into the game.
Then Johnson took over. The 6-foot-6 future Arizona Wildcat hit on 16 of 24 field goal attempts including 4 of 7 from 3-point range en route to a career-high scoring outburst.
Playing the point guard role for the three-time defending California state champs this season, Johnson said he was encouraged to attack on the offensive end against Foothills Christian.
"When I got out of my point guard mode and into my scoring mode, I was looking to score," Johnson said. "That's what he (Mater Dei head coach Gary McKnight) told me to do, if I get it on the wing, let it go. I was in straight scoring mode the whole game."
Sophomore big man M.J. Cage
also recorded an impressive stat line for the Monarchs with 16 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Foothills Christian was led by a standout sophomore of its own in 6-8 forward T.J. Leaf
, who finished with 25 points despite being slowed by a shoulder injury. Indiana head coach Tom Crean was in the stands at Bishop Gorman to get a look at Leaf.
Mater Dei (6-0), ranked No. 2 nationally by MaxPreps this week, face Clark (Las Vegas)
Thursday at 6 p.m.Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 63, Lynwood (Calif.) 43
The host Gaels survived a scrappy effort by Lynnwood to earn a victory in the opening game of the evening.
Gorman maintained a narrow lead through much of the first half but wasted little time putting things away in the second (16-minute halves being used in event as opposed to traditional 8-minute quarters).
An emphatic dunk by Nick Blair
with 13:05 remaining made it 40-23 and Lynnwood never seriously threatened after that.
The Gaels (3-2) received 16 points apiece from senior guard Noah Robotham
and 6-11 junior center Stephen Zimmerman
. Chase Jeter
, a 6-9 junior, added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Bishop Gorman advances to meet Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.)
on Friday at 3:20 p.m.Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 79, Faith Baptist Christian (Ludowici, Ga.) 48
In a contest that was delayed 30 minutes due to travel complications for Faith Baptist, Findlay Prep pulled away and rewarded the fans that remained with a slew of highlight-quality dunks in the second half.
The Pilots, ranked No. 5 nationally by MaxPreps, received a game-high 24 points from future Kansas Jayhawk Kelly Oubre
. Craig Victor
(15 points), Derryck Thornton Jr.
(14) and Rashad Vaughn
(11) also reached double figures for the winners.
Findlay Prep (15-1) was without the services of injured UCLA-bound forward Jonah Bolden
. Thursday's Platimun Division/prep scheduleBishop Gorman main court:
2 p.m. – Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.)
vs. Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
3:20 p.m. – Bishop Gorman vs. Sheldon
4:40 p.m. – Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
vs. Durango (Las Vegas)
6 p.m. – Clark vs. Mater Dei
7:20 p.m. – Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.)
vs. Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
8:40 p.m. – Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.)
vs. Prime Prep (Dallas) Bishop Gorman auxiliary court
4:40 p.m. – Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
vs. Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.)
6 p.m. – Bountiful (Utah)
vs. El Camino Real (Woodland Hills, Calif.)
7:20 p.m. – Constitution (Philadelphia)
vs. Pinnacle (Phoenix)
8:40 p.m. – Faith Baptist Christian Academy vs. Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)