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The Lance

The Lance

The Lance

Men’s Basketball State

Penn Staker-Brooks
Junior Nick Jefferson (right) guarding Sophomore Johnny Collin’s (left)

On February 23rd, the Bishop Gorman men’s basketball team proved themselves as they reclaimed their spot as 5A State Champions.

The Gaels faced off against Coronado High School in the state game at the Thomas & Mack Center and defeated the Cougars 63-60. This marked the program’s 19th state title, and their first since the 2020 season.

The game came down to the wire, “It was a tough game,” stated Junior Point Guard, Nick Jefferson, “but our advantage was our physicality.”

Jefferson acknowledged the team’s preparation before the game, pointing out how they exceeded Coronado’s expectations for them. Jefferson contributed nine points to the game.

The Gael’s battled speculation for having an inexperienced team with only four returning players from last season’s varsity squad.

One of the returning players, Senior Guard, Trent Wilson backed up his team and challenged those speculations, “we worked through that through hard work and going through every situation thinkable.” He accredits the driving factor behind the win was the mentality they came in with, “even with such a new squad, we simply wanted it more, there was no second guesses.”

The Gaels finished the season 24-5 and 9-2 in league play. They reign once again as the Nevada 5A State Champions despite all speculation.

At the start of the game the energy was high, the anticipation of the championship could be seen on both teams. Another notable factor was experience, Jefferson, Senior Guard Ryder Elisalez, and Senior Wing Caleb Williams looked ready and poised. Sophomore Guard Johnny Collins, currently ranked the #3 Sophomore in the state, looked slightly nervous and amped up, Senior Point Guard Josiah Cunningham looked relaxed.

The game was back and forth the whole way, with Senior Ryder Elisalez leading the way in the first half. Elisalez was one of the primary ball handlers and the main counter to Cunningham, who had a phenomenal year.

Collins also seemed to find his own throughout the game and continued to give the Gaels issues. Jefferson and Collins would go back and forth throughout the game, in their play and in talk.

In the frontcourt, Freshman Ilan Nikolov, Kameron Cooper, and Sophomore Jett Washington were key factors. Coronado had Nevada All-State 1st Team Tee Bartlett, who was giving the Gaels problems in the low post. Nearly fouling out Senior Noah Westbrook. Cooper became the main defender on Bartlett, and showed no signs of fear, the two would get into multiple faceups with each other.

Nikolov and Washington continued to be key scorers throughout the game, with Nikolov draining multiple threes and Washington being relentless attacking the basket.

The game came down to the final few possessions. The Gaels led 62-60 with 10 seconds left, Coronado had one more chance to save their season, Collins and Bartlett ran a pick and roll, the Gaels blitzed leaving Bartlett wide open. Collins overthrew the pass and it was Ryder Elisalez once again to intercept the pass and seal the game. Coronado had to foul, Elisalez went 1 for 2 from the line and in a final effort, Bartlett heaved a full court shot, but it was no good. The Gaels had won the 2024 NIAA 5A Nevada State Championship.

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About the Contributors
Miguel Sandoval
Miguel Sandoval, Editor-in-Chief The Lance
Hi! My name is Miguel Sandoval of the class of 2024. I am the current Editor in Chief for the Lance. I am also a part of the BGHS baseball team as first base/ pitcher.  I also participate in Shine a Light Club, and National Honors Society. Hobbies of mine include: hiking, mountain biking, skateboarding, and playing any sport. I’m also a huge LA Dodgers, Lakers, and Rams fan.   
Penn Staker-Brooks
Penn Staker-Brooks, Staff Writer The Lance
Hi! My name is Penn Staker-Brooks of the class of 2027. I am an up and coming reporter for the Lance. I am a part of the BGHS Freshman basketball team as a combo guard. Hobbies of mine include: watching sports, editing videos, playing basketball, and doing puzzles.

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