It’s State Championship week! This year, the 2A, 4A, and 5A championships will be held in Las Vegas, while 1A and 3A will battle for the crown in Reno. 5A has been competitive all season with several teams looking like…
It’s State Championship week! This year, the 2A, 4A, and 5A championships will be held in Las Vegas, while 1A and 3A will battle for the crown in Reno. 5A has been competitive all season with several teams looking like championship contenders. This year’s event could signal a changing of the guard, as both the North and Southern champ, have reached state, after missing last year’s tournament. In addition, last year’s champ, Liberty seeks back-to-back crowns, while Douglas, hopes to advance at least one game further than last year. These are just some of the storylines for this week’s event. Let’s take a look at others.
1) Former UNR Standouts Meet In The Semis – They won’t be competing between the lines, however, former Wolfpack stars Kevin Soares and Luke Babbit will match wits on the sidelines when Manogue takes on the defending state champs Liberty Patriots. Soares who won the title in his first season at Liberty is the All-time leader in assists and steals at UNR. Babbit who broke the state’s all-time scoring record while in High School is in his first year for the Miners and was the 16th overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft.
2) Does Durango’s Iron 5 Have Enough – The Trailblazers have relied heavily on their starters this season, and barring some unforeseen circumstances will ride them during their State Tournament run. All 5 players can dribble, pass and shoot, however, they each provide something different. Mason Brown Mason Brown 6'1" | PG Durango | 2025 State NV gives the team solid ballhandling and perimeter defense. Jevon Yapi Jevon Yapi 6'1" | PG Durango | 2025 State NV brings a flare combined with clutch shot-making. Colton Knoll Colton Knoll 6'4" | SG Durango | 2025 State NV is a high-IQ matchup nightmare, that can defend, and shoot it. Tylen Riley Tylen Riley 6'2" | CG Durango | 2023 State NV is an elite on-ball defender, and Taj DeGourville Taj DeGourville 6'5" | SG Durango | 2024 State #144 Nation NV ties the team together with his all-around skill set. Together they are a formidable unit, looking to cap one of the most remarkable playoff runs in recent memory.
3) Is This The Year For The Manogue Seniors? – From the day Jordan Morency Jordan Morency 6'4" | PG Bishop Manogue | 2023 State NV arrived, a lot has been expected of the Miners. While it took a while it looks like they are now starting to capitalize on their talent. Manogue is one of the deepest teams in the state, boasting 4 players averaging over 7 points per game. Morency, Isaiah Garcia Isaiah Garcia 6'2" | CG Bishop Manogue | 2023 State NV , Carson Jensen Carson Jensen 6'5" | PF Bishop Manogue | 2023 State NV , and Dominic Zaccheo. In addition to those 4, senior Logan Howren Logan Howren 6'4" | SG Bishop Manogue | 2023 State NV provides the team with toughness, grit, and rebounding. The Miners are a confident bunch having won 13 out of their last 14 games, and their seniors are looking to end their careers by raising the 5A trophy.
4) The Size Of Douglas – The Tigers are the state’s biggest and most physical team. They have size and length with players like Jack Tolbert Jack Tolbert 6'9" | C Douglas | 2023 State NV and Theo Reid Theo Reid 6'8" | C Douglas | 2023 State NV , as well as a physical presence in senior guard Jac Reid Jac Reid 6'0" | SG Douglas | 2023 State NV , and rugged senior forward Thomas McDowell Thomas McDowell 6'1" | SG Douglas | 2023 State NV . They take on a Durango squad whose tallest player is 6’7 sophomore reserve forward Aleksandar Aleks Baletic Aleksandar Aleks Baletic 6'8" | SF Durango | 2025 State NV . It will be interesting to see if the Tigers are able to take advantage of their size this weekend.
5) Patriots Big Men By Committe – The defending champs started the season trying to figure out how to replace two division 1 interior players. Now after a season of mixing and matching and trial and error, we get to see if they’ve accomplished that task. Freshman Tyler Bright Tyler Bright 6'7" | C Liberty | 2026 State NV has emerged as the main weapon providing the team with some inside scoring. Javares Reid Javares Reid 6'8" | C Liberty | 2024 State NV brings a hard hat mentality, and interior toughness and junior forward Carlos Bradley Carlos Bradley 6'4" | SF Liberty | 2024 State NV brings an edge. The Patriots even have the option to turn to high-flying freshmen Dante Steward Dante Steward 6'4" | PF Liberty | 2026 State NV , for energy, offensive rebounding and transition finishing.