SANTA ANA, CA - Senior shooting guard Jamal Bey led Nevada basketball factory Bishop Gorman to a 55-48 victory over L.A. City Section power Fairfax in game 12 of the Nike Extravaganza.
“I was just patient and didn’t force shots, I just played my game,” said Bey, who scored 17 points.
Freshman Zaon Collins added nine points, three rebounds and two steals for Gorman. Six-foot-nine sophomore forward Isaiah Cottrell scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots. The Gaels shot 92 percent from the free throw line, while Fairfax made just 46 percent of their foul shots.
Point guard Jamal Hartwell played well for Fairfax, scoring 15 points on 50 percent shooting and snatching two steals. Ethan Anderson, only a junior, finished with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Senior center Kirk Smith posted 14 points and eight rebounds inside for the Lions, hitting one three-pointer on the night. Fairfax had just six bench points, while Gorman scored 16, a key difference throughout the game.
Fairfax led 19-12 after one, but Gorman stormed back to win the second quarter 21-12, taking a four point lead into halftime. Smith scored in the paint to start the third quarter for the Lions, and Gorman responded with a basket one play after. Smith grabbed a Hartwell missed outside shot and finished an and-one with a made free throw. Bey fired back for Gorman with a layup and made free throw to put the Gales up 38-34 with just under five minutes remaining in the third. A pair of Hartwell scores, as well as a Will McClendon (four assists) three for Gorman, ended the quarter, the Gales leading 45-36.
Hartwell nailed a three to open the fourth quarter, and junior Ronald Mitchell scored his only basket of the game to give Fairfax some late game momentum. Collins drew a foul and knocked in two free throws for Gorman, but Anderson responded one play later for two. The teams traded baskets as Gorman held onto a two-point advantage inside three minutes. Bey came up huge down the stretch, scoring six points in the final minutes to seal a hard-earned victory for the out-of-state Gales.
Fairfax, a perennial Los Angeles powerhouse, is 19-8 and 10-1 in league play. Gorman, ranked as one of the top two teams in Nevada, is 21-4 on the season under head coach Grant Rice. The Gaels are a perfect 9-0 in-conference and are strong contenders for a state-championship run.