The second of those came in Friday night’s state title game, a 96-51 romp over North champion Hug at the University of Nevada’s Lawlor Events Center.
The tourney title is the 14th overall for the private Catholic school from Las Vegas.
“I’m really proud of the guys,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “All five of our playoff games, our guys were ready to play and they came out and got big leads in the first quarter. It wasn’t like that all year. We just started playing really well at the right time.”
Friday’s championship affair was never really close. Gorman had a 6-0 lead just over a minute into the game and never trailed.
Hug (24-4) did try to hang around briefly. Hawks point guard Andrew Johnson knocked down two free throws at the 3:46 mark of the first quarter. That got the HHS hoopsters within six, 14-8. They were never that close again. Gorman proceeded to go on a 15-1 run through the remainder of the first quarter.
The outburst saw the Gaels (28-4) forge ahead 29-9 and for all intents and purposes the route was on.
Hug got to within 17 twice, early in the second quarter _ at 33-16 on a Johnson runner and a 35-18 after a Sam Williams putback.
Bishop Gorman nixed any slim hopes Hug had of keeping the score respectable. The Gaels wrapped up the second quarter with a 14-2 spurt and had built a 59-24 lead by intermission.
“We were kind of in awe, which I was kind of surprised that we came out that way,” Hug coach Charles Walker said. “I think we had three guys out there ready to play and it took awhile for everyone else to get ready to play.”
The perennial state and national power Gaels did not up after the break. They scored the first 12 points of the third period and wound up winning the quarter 29-10.
With three periods in the books, Bishop Gorman had extended its edge to 83-35. The NIAA’s first-year mercy rule, which implements a running clock when a team builds a lead of 40 or more points, was not in effect for the state championship game.
“They were just as good as everybody thought they would be and just as good as we thought they would be,” Hug’s Sam Williams said. “We tried. We tried our hardest, but then there’s some things you can’t do anything about.”
Hug did win the final quarter 16-13, as both teams played lineups comprised largely of reserves.
Bishop Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad, seen by many as the top collegiate recruiting prospect in the country, put on a show. He finished with a game-high 36 points, 30 of which came in the first half. He had six dunks in the first quarter alone when he threw in 17 points. In a 13-point second quarter, he showed off his range, dropping a trio of 3-point bombs, none of which hit anything but net.
In addition to Muhammad’s big night, the Gaels also got 14 points from Rashad Muhammad and 12 from Demetris Morant.
Johnson contributed 18 points to Hug’s losing cause while Williams and Cliff Porter chipped in 12 and 10 points apiece.