The fax machines in Nevada were relatively quiet on the first day of the spring signing period as most of the state's top boys basketball players are still deciding on their college choices.
One player who did make a decision, however, was guard Kevin Olekaibe of Cimarron-Memorial (Las Vegas, Nev.) . The state's leading scorer at 35.6 points per game, Olekaibe announced Wednesday that he will attend Fresno State. Olekaibe will offically sign his National Letter of Intent during a ceremony on Friday. Olekaibe chose the Bulldogs over UTEP and Boise State. He also drew late interest from Florida and Connecticut, but Olekaibe, who played mostly shooting guard at Cimarron, was drawn to the idea of being used as a scoring point guard.
"The offensive system is fast," the 6-foot-1 Olekaibe told NevadaPreps.com. "They want a point guard who can score in transition or set somebody up, and I can do those things. They run a lot of ball screens, and I’m good off ball screens."
As for Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) point guard Cory Joseph and Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) point guard John Loyd, well, their situations aren't expected to be resolved for at least a week.
The 6-foot-3 Joseph, the No. 20 player in the country according to MaxPreps.com, will decide between Connecticut, Minnesota, Texas, UNLV and Villanova. Joseph and Pilots coach Michael Peck flew to New York on Wednesday for the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game that takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Following the game, according to several media outlets, Joseph will meet with his family in Toronto and hopes to decide on a school shortly afterward.
"It’s definitely going to come down to the wire," Joseph told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "All of the schools in my top five are great programs. It’s going to be a hard decision. I don’t have a timetable set, but it should be soon."
Loyd, meanwhile, has seen his recruiting pick up in the last week. The Gaels' ultra-quick standout added offers from Michigan State, Florida, Oklahoma and Washington State to his ever-changing list of schools, which also includes Northwestern (he visited the Wildcats last week), George Washington, SMU and Creighton, among others.
The 5-foot-9 Loyd visited Northern Arizona and Cal Poly before his recruiting stock took off, and he is not expected to sign until he takes his remaining two official visits.
"It’s real flattering," Loyd told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It’s getting hard to decide, but I’d rather have this problem than not."
Foothill (Henderson, Nev.) guard Evan Roquemore has been offered by Air Force, Ball State, Boise State, Eastern Washington and Fairfield, according to the Las Vegas Sun, but is considering attending a prep school, as well. Forward Brandon Glanz of Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) is expected to visit Idaho State this weekend and Findlay Prep forward Godwin Okonji has added offers from Marquette and Missouri to a list that already includes New Mexico, Hawaii TCU, and Texas Tech.
NO. 1 FALLS
The Reno baseball team, which is No. 1 in the MaxPreps state rankings, saw its 16-game winning streak to start the season come to an end with a 5-1 loss at No. 4 Sierra Vista (Las Vegas) on Monday. Jake Hager, Blair Goldsack and Alex Estrella combined to hold the Huskies to five hits, one of which was a solo home run by UCLA signee Pat Gallagher. Goldsack finished 3 for 3 with an RBI, while Hager was 2 for 3 with two doubles and a RBI.
The Huskies (17-1) bounced back Tuesday with a 5-3 win as Gallagher blasted a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the fourth inning.
Reno continued its tour of southern Nevada with a game against No. 3 Green Valley (Henderson) on Wednesday and visits No. 12 Palo Verde (Las Vegas) on Thursday.
It is an overused phrase, of course, but how else can you describe Tuesday's Northeast League baseball game between No. 6 Rancho (Las Vegas) and No. 16 Las Vegas?
Rancho junior Eric Holdren tossed a two-hitter with five strikeouts as the Rams took over sole possession of first place with a 1-0 win. Not to be outdone, Wildcats starter Eric Fedde took a perfect game into the seventh and allowed only an infield single to Zac Qualls while striking out 10. Holdren, who has verbally committed to San Diego State, needed just 75 pitches and Fedde threw 66 pitches in a game that took an hour and five minutes to play.
Three baseball teams began to separate from the pack in the Southeast League, but the big mover over the past five days has been No. 15 Silverado (Las Vegas).
The Skyhawks got a seventh-inning sacrifice fly from A.J. Ford to pull out an 8-7 win over No. 14 Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) on Friday and follwed that up by scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat No. 7 Foothill (Henderson, Nev.) 8-3 on Tuesday. The victories pulled Silverado (14-6) into a three-way tie atop the standings at 5-1 with Foothill and No. 3 Green Valley (Henderson, Nev.).
Drew Robinson, who signed with Nebraska, drew a bases-loaded walk that scored the go-ahead run and also had a two-run homer in the game against Foothill. Bobby Johnson was 3 for 4 with a run and two RBI.
* Senior pitcher Taylor Short allowed six hits and struck out eight as the Durango (Las Vegas, Nev.) softball team gained sole possession of first place in the Southwest League with a 13-1 six-inning victory at Bonanza (Las Vegas).
* Palo Verde (Las Vegas, Nev.) pitcher Melissa McCormick threw a four-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 3-1 win Monday over Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.) and gave up five hits to go along with 11 strikeouts in an 8-2 victory over Legacy (North Las Vegas) Friday. The Panthers played Arbor View (Las Vegas) on Wednesday in a battle of unbeatens in the Northwest League.
* Spanish Springs (Sparks, Nev.) pitcher Karlyn Jones threw a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts as the Cougars remained unbeaten in the High Desert League with a 15-0 win over Elko on Friday. Jones hit one batter, which prevented her from a perfect game, and then struck out 12 in a 2-0 win over Elko on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.
David Schoen works at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and is a former Associate Sports Editor and Turn2 columnist for the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune. You can reach him at ByDavid1@aol.com.