Canyon Springs did not need to pull any rabbits out of hats to down the North champs. The Las Vegas school ran right by Manogue en route to an 82-47 romp and the first state title in the seventh-year school’s history.
“It was a difficult pill to swallow,” Manogue coach Bill Ballinger said. “I really believed this was going to be a good basketball game. I thought we were ready. I’d have lost a lot of money if I’d bet. Obviously, I had my doubts at the end of the first quarter, probably like everyone in the building.”
Canyon Springs jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead and never let up on Manogue. The Pioneers, who won southern Nevada’s Sunrise Region, outscored Manogue 32-15 in the third quarter. That gave them a 61-29 lead after three quarters and the rout was on.
Canyon Springs never let up, tacking on 21 more points in the fourth quarter to Manogue’s 18, accounting for the final 35-point gap.
“I’m proud of my guys. The seniors accomplished something we’d never done at Bishop Manogue,” Ballinger said of reaching the 4A state title game. “Every time you take the court, someone wins and someone loses. Tonight, we lost.”
Manogue’s struggles started in the first half.
The Miners couldn’t get anything going before the break. The Miners trailed 29-14 at halftime, largely because they couldn’t hit open perimeter jumpers. Manogue shot a horrendous 18 percent in the first half, 5-of-27 from the floor. The Miners were one of the top shooting clubs in the Northern 4A all season, but managed to knock down only 1-of-17 tries from 3-point range in the first half.
Manogue warmed up a bit in the second but still finished just 17-of-51 shooting overall.
Canyon Springs jumped out to an 11-3 lead late in the first quarter. The Las Vegas school led 13-6 a minute-plus into the second quarter and then scored six straight points to push its lead to 13, 19-6, following a Donald Anderson layup at the second quarter’s 5:25 mark.
Manogue could not cut into the Canyon Springs’ lead through the remainder of the half and the CSHS club held its 15-point edge at the intermission.
The Miners defense gave up 82 points one night after limiting high-powered Bishop Gorman to just 44. Canyon Springs shot a solid 34-of-65 (52 percent) from the floor.
Not surprisingly, the Pioneers dominated the stat sheet. They forced 21 Manogue turnovers and committed just six. That led to a 27-8 edge in points off turnovers. Canyon Springs got balanced production. Ten different players scored and the southern Nevada club held a 24-7 edge in bench scoring.
“We did things you can’t let happen in a big game. We just didn’t take care of business tonight,” Ballinger said.
Michael Thompson and Jared Brandon scored 19 and 18 points to pace the Canyon Springs offense. Trey Evans added 11.
Ethan Dillard and Brennan Hogan scored 17 and 16 points for Manogue, but the rest of the Miners’ roster had just 14 and no other player came up with more than five.
“We just didn’t play our game,” said Miners point guard Niles Lujan, who scored 23 in the semifinal win over Gorman. “We didn’t run like we wanted to. We didn’t defend. They killed us on the boards. They beat us in every facet possible.”
Friday, Lujan was limited to four points.
“We said just get in his chest and stay in his chest. Make him work for everything,” Pioneers coach Daryl Branham said of defending Lujan. “We knew their offense went through him, and if we wanted to stall their offense at all, we were going to have to do a good job on him.”
Canyon Springs, which did not lose after December, finished its winter campaign 29-2. Manogue finished its season with a 25-6 record.