Some notable Las Vegas teams from the abbreviated high school season

Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Editor’s Note: The Las Vegas Sun’s annual showcase of the best in high school sports, the Sun Standout Awards, was canceled this month as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. While the pandemic may have pushed the event off the calendar until 2021, our commitment to spotlighting prep sports is undiminished. Our local athletes did some amazing things, both on and off the field. Today, we share their stories. It would be tough to find another metro area with this many high school teams receiving national accolades. The Faith Lutheran girls soccer team outscored opponents 112-3 to win the state championship and conclude with a 23-0-1 record. They finished ranked No. 8 nationally by USA Today — one of three girls soccer teams from Las Vegas that were ranked at one point in the season. The others were Arbor View and Centennial, who played Faith Lutheran to a scoreless tie. Senior Amelia McManus had 23 goals and 59 points to lead the Crusaders — one of just four seniors on a 27-player roster. She was also the lone senior who started, meaning Faith Lutheran should be a contender in upcoming seasons. “This is a very special group that I think you will be seeing for years to come,” coach Bob Chinn said in the fall. The Crusaders weren’t the lone Las Vegas team to receive national accolades. Bishop Gorman basketball won its ninth straight state championship, finishing with a 29-3 record and No. 14 national ranking by MaxPreps. Coach Grant Rice won his 500th career game this season, leading the Gaels — including seniors of Mwani Wilkinson (LSU), Noah Taitz (Stanford) and Braden Lamar (Western Illinois) — to a convincing 65-37 win against Desert Pines in the championship game. This championship wasn’t as easy as the record indicates. Gorman lost a few players to injury, most notably the four-year starter Taitz, and instead relied on key contributions from reserves. The post player Lamar, unheralded at the beginning of the season, became their most valuable player. “We went through so much this year,” Rice said after the championship game. “I am so proud of our group. They battled all year. ... I am really happy about this one.” Other Las Vegas teams were also ranked. In baseball, Palo Verde (No. 14) and Gorman (No. 24) were part of the preseason top-50 by Perfect Game. The spring season barely got off the ground because of coronavirus cancellations. In boys soccer, Gorman finished 26-0-1 overall and ranked No. 13 by USA Today. Brophy Howard had 16 goals and 15 assists, and Hiram Triana had 19 goals. In girls basketball, Centennial started the season ranked No. 22 by USA Today and won its sixth straight state championship. It wasn’t ranked at the end of the year. There aren’t rankings for girls flag football, although Green Valley would have a strong case to be recognized if there were. The Gators repeated as state champions in outscoring opponents 752-135. The 135 points is believed to be the fewest allowed in Southern Nevada since the sport was launched locally in 2012-13. Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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