By: Steven Pham
Photos by: Kobi Russom
Wichita, KS. - No. 4 Sunrise Christian Academy moves to 9-1 on the season after a 56-34 win against Kenwood Academy. Layden Blocker stepped into the usual starting lineup for the second time this season. He replaced Dillon Hunter who is nursing an injury that sidelined him for this game.
Both teams came out aggressive defensively and forced the opposing offense into tough shots. Both offenses were about even, Sunrise was 9/22 (40%) from the field and Kenwood was 8/22 (36%). Mark Mitchell continued his dominance in the paint and had 9 points (5/7 from FT) to lead Sunrise. Trey Pettigrew led the way for Kenwood with 10 points in the first half.
The difference in the first half was Sunrise’s ability to get to the free-throw line early and often. Sunrise shot 6/9 (66%) from FT in the first, while Kenwood had zero attempts. Those FTs gave Sunrise a 27-19 lead after the first half.
Blocker had an immediate impact on the game offensively and defensively in the first half and continued it into the second half. He was getting multiple rebounds and pushing it into quick offense. Sunrise outscored Kenwood 10-2 on fast-break points. Blocker is a nice change-of-pace style of player that can beat the defender off the dribble and get to the rim with ease. He can also shoot the ball at a high percentage and make plays for others.
Sunrise played lockdown defense in the second half and held Kenwood to 5/24 (20%) shooting in the half. That allowed Sunrise to get easy offense and slowly start to pull away towards the end of the third quarter. Sunrise’s ball movement was incredible with Scotty Middleton’s 7 assists. Sunrise found open cutters and shooters throughout the game and that played a huge factor in their victory.
Sunrise shot 46% from the field, 29% from three, and went 13/21 (62%) from FT. Sunrise had 32 total rebounds, 26 defensive and 6 offensive. Sunrise had 15 assists, 5 blocks, and 9 steals. Sunrise dominated the paint 28-10 against Kenwood and had 17 points off 15 Kenwood turnovers.
Mitchell had 15 points on 5-8 shooting (5-7 from FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block. Blocker finished with a double-double of 14 points on 5-7 shooting (3-4 from three), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal. Gradey Dick had 8 points on 3-8 shooting, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. Bobi Klintman had 7 points off the bench on 2-5 shooting, 1 block, and 1 steal.
Until then, Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the Sunrise family!!! Enjoy time with loved ones over the holiday break and we’ll see you back in action during the first week of 2022.