The Trailblazers defeat Gorman and Liberty on the way to the 5A title. For the first time since 2008, the Nevada large division state championship game doesn’t feature Bishop Gorman. Durango faces off against defending state Champion Liberty. The first…
The Trailblazers defeat Gorman and Liberty on the way to the 5A title.
For the first time since 2008, the Nevada large division state championship game doesn’t feature Bishop Gorman. Durango faces off against defending state Champion Liberty. The first half was played at a frenetic pace, with both teams taking turns trading blows. The Patriots used a second-quarter run to separate, fueled by their guard play. The Trailblazers who played with primarily 6 players, refused to quit, clawing their way back. The third quarter was more grit than skill, as both teams struggled to score. It was 33-31 Durango after the third. DJ Thomas DJ Thomas 6'2" | PG Liberty | 2024 State #19 Nation NV tried to will the Patriots to the win in the fourth quarter, scoring every bucket except 1 for his team in the period. In the end, it was not enough, as the Trailblazers capped a remarkable run, with a wild scene as the buzzer sounded, winning the game 57-47. Your 5A State Champions are the Durango Trailblazers.
Despite having an entire defense, geared to stop him, Thomas never shied away from the big shot. The junior guard crossed, and spun his way into the lane, making numerous runners and floaters over defenders. He’s as tough as they come, both mentally and physically, as he took several hard hits on the day, bouncing right back up.
Best Offensive Player
Degourville is a player that many scouts have criticized for what’s he’s not. He’s not a point, guard, he’s two small two be a forward, and he’s not a guy that plays hard is what they say. What he is, is an elite passer, with the strength to neutralize taller players. He’s also a winner, and now a champion. He displayed his smooth game, scoring off pullups, as well as the occasional three to finish with a game high 16 points.
Best Defensive Player
Riley, did about as good of job as you can do on Thomas, using his length to make it difficult on him. His long arms affected passing lanes, and he was able to get several defelections throughout the game.
Bright didn’t have his best game, but it’s easy to see the potential. He runs the floor well, and even showed some stretch ability, stepping out and hitting a 15 footer. While perhaps not a sleeper in his class, the freshman was a shinning bright spot, while playing against and with other already accomplished prospects.
Best High Motor Guy
Bartlett gets forgotten about often, as so much of the attention goes to the Trailblazers starters. There’s no way Durango hoist the trophy without his contributions. The junior forward battled hard providing the Trailblazers with an equalizer to the Patriots size.
Best Glue Guy
Best glue guy in the state was at it again. In the first half alone, he retrieved a loose ball for his team, grabbed an offensive board, and took a charge. The lefty is as unselfish as they come, and he came up with numerous big plays to keep possesions alive for his team.
Hard to seperate Thomas and Bright, but I give the edge to Thomas in this one, simply because of the caliber of players he was facing. In a championship game agasinst a team featuring multiple D1 perimeter players, the freshman guard held his own. He only finished with two points, but he showed poise, ballhandling, and playmaking ability in the game.
This was kind of a combination of his play on Friday and Saturday. Oba didn’t score in the Championship game, but he’s a long freshman, that flashed some good physical tools. He displayed elite athleticism, hammering home an explosive two hand dunk on Friday. He went from JV to being on the floor in a state Championship game as a freshman. If he continues to develop at the same rate, the sky could be the limit.