By: Steven Pham
Photos by: Shane Zisk
Wichita, KS. - #12 Sunrise falls to 12-5 on the season after a 64-51 loss to #1 Montverde Academy. Montverde sweeps the season series and hands Sunrise their second consecutive loss.
Montverde stays on top of the NIBC standings with a 9-1 conference record. Sunrise moves down to fifth in the standings at 5-3.
Montverde came out with more aggression and energy immediately off the opening tip. They took a 12-0 lead in the opening minutes and never looked back. Their defensive intensity forced numerous turnovers and made it tough for Sunrise to get high-percentage looks.
Every Sunrise drive in the paint was immediately trapped and swarmed by multiple Montverde players. Cooper Flagg had three steals in the opening quarter that led to easy fast-break points. Montverde ended the first half with 12 fast-break points to Sunrise’s zero.
Montverde had 16 points off 10 Sunrise turnovers in the first half and 16 points in the paint. Montverde displayed a well-balanced attack and showed off their depth with 12 bench points in the first half. They had a commanding 41-23 lead at halftime.
Sunrise struggled all game long and shot 36% in the first half and 38% overall. Sunrise got out-worked and out-played in every aspect of the game. Montverde outrebounded Sunrise 33 to 25 and 10 were offensive rebounds.
Miro Little was a bright spot for Sunrise and continued his recent success. He showed up ready to play and had a phenomenal third quarter. Little did everything for Sunrise; he got to the rim, hit perimeter shots, hustled for loose balls, forced turnovers, and took multiple charges.
Little had 17 points on 7-9 (77%) shooting and 3-5 (60%) from three. He finished with 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Sunrise shot 18-47 (38%) from the field, 9-24 (37%) from three, and went 6-9 (66%) from the FT line. Sunrise finished with 25 rebounds, 7 offensive and 18 defensive. They had 12 assists on 18 made FGs, 5 blocks, and 7 steals.
Sunrise returns home and receives a short break from NIBC play next week. Sunrise will host On Point Academy on January 27th. This is a perfect bounce-back game before the final stretch of the season. Sunrise will resume NIBC play on February 2nd at IMG Academy.