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December 22, 2012
LAS VEGAS - There is absolutely no question about which game was the game of the night in the third day of the inaugural Jerry Tarkanian Classic tournament at Bishop Gorman high school.
Host Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman found itself locked in a battle with Chicago (Ill.) Morgan Park for the prize of facing Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei in Saturday's championship game at 6 p.m.
Gorman defeated Morgan Park, 83-80, behind four-star, class of 2015 recruit Stephen Zimmerman in a thrilling overtime contest.
A tightly contested half that saw Morgan Park take a 35-33 lead into the break, the Mustangs were able to keep Gorman at bay for most of the second half, and at one point late in that half, Morgan Park held a 10-point lead.
That advantage didn't last for long, as Zimmerman took control of the game on both ends of the floor.
With the Gaels trailing by six late in the second half, the 7-foot sophomore popped out off a screen and roll and sank a jumper. He then pinned a Morgan Park layup attempt against the backboard, threw an outlet pass to Noah Robotham, sprinted down the middle and got fouled after demanding the ball on the block.
Zimmerman went on to convert on the two free throw attempts, bringing Gorman back within two points with a little over five minutes to play.
Morgan Park kept its cool, however, and quickly answered the Gorman run by extending its lead back to eight, 68-60, with three minutes to play.
Gorman then scored seven straight points over what felt like a half-minute of play to bring the deficit to just one with 1:44 left to play.
With the game tied at 69 and just 13 ticks left on the clock, Robotham's baseline jumper fell just short, sending the game into overtime.
The back-and-forth affair continued into the extra period, but Morgan Park was able to take a 77-72 lead after a Gorman turnover and two clutch free throws from Billy Garrett Jr.
But a 3-pointer from Trey Kennedy and a bucket from Zimmerman tied the game at 77 apiece.
Gorman connected on 6 of 6 free throws down the stretch, four from three-star recruit Rashad Muhammad and two from Zimmerman to seal the 3-point victory.
Zimmerman finished with 24 points and eight rebounds and will lead Bishop Gorman into the Tarkanian Classic final Saturday night against Mater Dei.
Mater Dei 55, Our Savior New American 39
Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei had the task of containing the Our Savior front-line of four-star, class of 2015 recruit Cheick Diallo (6-foot-9), Michael Nize (6-foot-8) and class of 2016 prospect Kassoum Yakwe (6-foot-7).
The Monarchs passed the test with flying colors.
Mater Dei used a 9-0 run in the first half to take a 23-17 lead into the break, and were paced by six points and four rebounds from five-star, class of 2014 recruit Stanley Johnson.
The second half is where the Monarchs took over.
Mater Dei began the second half with a 17-4 run to open a 38-21 lead that Our Savior could not recover from.
Johnson finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Three-star, class of 2013 recruit Elijah Brown added 13 for the Monarchs.
Diallo paced Our Savior with 13 points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots. Yakwe scored just four points, but pulled down eight rebounds. Nzei finished with five points and five rebounds.
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst
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