Gaels try to finish off three-peat

RENO – It was an early wake-up call for the Bishop Gorman Gaels who left campus at 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning to make the long eight-hour bus trip here for the NIAA State Division I basketball semifinals that begin this afternoon.

The Gaels (27-4), champions of the Sunset Division and who have also won back-to-back state large school crowns, take on Northern Division winner Reno (19-9) tonight at 8 p.m. at the Lawlor Events Center on the University of Nevada campus. The winner plays the either Sunrise Division winner Canyon Springs (24-4) or Northern Division runnerup Spanish Springs (18-11), who play at 4:40 p.m., on Friday night at 8 p.m. in the championship game.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time just like we have all year,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “We’re excited to get on the bus to Reno and try and win a couple more games.”

The Gaels, who stopped for a 30-minute lunch break in Tonopah, arrived in the “Biggest Little City in the World” a little after 3 o’clock and then went straight over to Bishop Manogue High School for a practice.

The Gaels should be better equipped for the long travel thanks to a brutal December schedule that saw play national powerhouses like No. 2 ranked Chicago Curie, No. 9 Oak Hill Academy of Mouth of Wilson, Va., and No. 4 Seattle Rainer, the last team to defeat the Gaels back on Dec. 30, all on the road.

“Our December was really rough so this is nothing new for us,” Rice said. “I think we’re rested. … I think we’re ready to go. We’re definitely battle-tested and we’ll go out and give it our best.”

Senior point guard Noah Robotham leads Bishop Gorman in scoring (15.6) and also assists (7.2) while 7-0 junior center Stephen Zimmerman (15.2 ppg, 10.1 rebounds) and 6-10 junior Chase Jeter (14.4 ppg, 10.2 reb.) anchor one of the nation premier front lines.

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