Remy Martin gets emotional when playing basketball and that’s OK with his head coach, Ty Nichols.
So Martin will be forgiven by the Sierra Canyon (Calif.) coaching staff for his technical foul in the third quarter of Friday’s semifinal blowout victory against Findlay Prep (Nev.).
On a breakaway, Martin leapt from two feet and put down a powerful two-handed dunk. Afterwards, he turned to the nearest opposing player and let out an emotional roar.
“We go as Remy goes,” Nichols said. “He’s our leader. He’s a Pac 12-level point guard. Sometimes, his emotion does get the better of him and you have to pull him aside to calm him down. But you have to love the passion he brings to every game.”
The dunk put an exclamation point on Sierra Canyon’s 76-47 whipping of Findlay Prep. The Trailblazers led the entire game, including 24-5 after the first quarter and 41-23 at halftime.
Sierra Canyon, a year after losing to Oak Hill Academy (Va.) in this tournament’s finals, goes for the championship again Saturday at 9 p.m. against Memphis East.
“That’s always my mind set: to play with energy and emotion,” Martin said. “I didn’t mean to get a T, I didn’t feel like I deserved one, but I was excited. I had to mean-mug him a little bit.”
Martin, an Arizona State commit, finished with 16 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes. He co-starred alongside Bagley III, who finished with game-highs in points (28) and rebounds (16).
Sierra Canyon (14-1 overall) shot 26-for-48 from the field, out-rebounded Findlay Prep (40-24) and had a decisive edge in free throws. The Trailblazers were 18-for-26 at the free throw compared Findlay’s 4-for-8 line.
Nichols said the Friday’s game style was more to Sierra Canyon’s liking, compared to Thursday’s 72-54 win over Republic.
“Republic did a great job against us. They had a great game plan and executed it well,” Nichols said. “To say we were more motivated tonight takes away what Republic did last night. Coming here, you know you’re going to be facing a great team.”
“I think this pace and game flow tonight was more to our style.”
Sierra Canyon was able to neutralize 5-star senior forward and Kentucky commit P.J. Washington, who finished with four points and eight rebounds on 2-for-12 shooting from the field.
This despite Sierra Canyon’s best defender, senior and San Diego State commit Adam Seiko, playing only 12 minutes due to foul trouble. He played only two minutes in the first half.
“The kids executed the game plan to perfection,” Nichols said. “Based on our scouting, there were areas on the floor where we knew P.J. liked to operate and we took those away.”
“Bench guys did a great job. As a coach, you see a guy like Adam go out early and think, ‘Oh, jeez.’ But our reserves – Michael (Feinberg), Marcus (Bagley) and Joe (Wallace) came in and really did a good job in our defense.”
Sierra Canyon 24 17 16 19 — 76
Findlay Prep 5 18 10 14 — 47
Sierra Canyon – Marvin Bagley III 28, Remy Martin 16, Cody Riley 8, Terrance McBride 7, William Washington 6, Michael Feinberg 4, Marcus Bagley 3, Adam Seiko 2, Hunter Bleeden 2
Findlay Prep – Justin Roberts 15, Lamine Diane 14, Jack Schwietz 6, P.J. Washington 4, Reggie Chaney 4, Chris Giles 2, Tadas Kararinas 2