Perhaps there’s something to be said about a David vs. Goliath mentality after all.
When Las Vegas prep sports institution Bishop Gorman High School was invited to take the place of Super 25 No. 2 McEachern (Ga.) High School, some turned their nose at the Gaels. There were plenty of reasons. The Gaels were unranked. They had four losses, all to the biggest out-of-state powers they faced. Sure, they won a Nevada state title … but only had to win four games to capture it.
And, the coup de grace: They were blown out the first time they faced No. 1 La Lumiere High School (La Porte, Ind.), 67-54 at the Coaches for Cancer event in West Virginia.
So, when Bishop Gorman got the call to take the final spot in the 2019 GEICO Nationals tournament, yes, some were a bit miffed.
Yet competitive games bring justification, if not outright redemption. And it’s hard to imagine any team playing an outright tournament favorite more tough than the the Gaels did to the Lakers on Thursday.
Bishop Gorman did a little bit of everything to scare the daylights out of top-ranked LaLu in the eventual 74-69 Lakers win in double overtime.
They took a second half lead:
They held on to the edge entering the fourth quarter:
They delivered a huge, clutch shot from the perimeter in the final minute:
Then they did it again!
Then they withstood a furious overtime, forced a second, and fought tooth-and-nail against a team that is widely expected to win the GEICO Nationals … again. That’s impressive, particularly for a team that many thought didn’t deserve a trip to New York to start with.
Can a program gain major momentum from a loss? If so, Bishop Gorman may truly be a program to watch, both in 2019-20 and the years ahead.