By: Steven Pham
Photos by: Mikayla Lomas
Wichita, KS. - Down goes number one and the reigning national champions. No. 2 Sunrise Christian Academy takes down No. 1 Montverde Academy 71-61 to improve their record to 10-1 on the season. Sunrise avenges their loss to Montverde earlier in the season and will most likely become the No. 1 ranked team in the nation.
The starting lineup for Sunrise was Dillon Hunter, Layden Blocker, Gradey Dick, Mark Mitchell, and Cam Corhen. For Montverde; Dariq Whitehead, Jalen Hood-Schfino, Malik Reneau, Dillon Mitchell, and Vincent Iwuchukwu.
Montverde would score the first basket with a Schfino layup. Sunrise would start getting hot from three early with three 3’s in a row, two from Corhen and one from Dick to open up a 9-2 lead. Both teams were trading baskets in the first quarter. Sunrise would lead 20-17 after one.
Dillon Mitchell got it going early and did not stop scoring the entire game. He had 11 of Montverde’s 17 points. Sunrise shot 6-8 from three to make up 18 of their 20 points. Corhen led Sunrise in the first quarter with 9 points (3-3 from three).
Dillon Mitchell continued his hot hand with 5 quick points to start the quarter. Montverde took back the lead early in the second quarter 23-22. After that brief lead, Montverde would trail the rest of the game. Dick started to heat up from downtown with back-to-back threes to open up the lead for Sunrise. He would end the half with a team-high 17 points.
Bobi Klintman came off the bench and hit a three to continue their 6-0 run. Scotty Middleton came off the bench for the first time this season and had an immediate impact with 13 points in the first half (8 in the quarter). Sunrise ended the quarter with a 22-11 run to give themselves a 42-28 lead. Sunrise hit 11 threes in the first half and that was the difference-maker.
Both teams started trading baskets again and every run Sunrise went on was matched with a Montverde one. Dillon Mitchell dominated inside and ended the quarter with 20 points.
Mark Mitchell and Whitehead were both quiet in the first half but started to look for their shot in the third quarter. They both made a couple baskets to help their team out but Sunrise would take a 54-38 lead into the fourth.
Sunrise extended their lead to 18 early in the quarter. Montverde refused to go away easily and started cutting into the lead. Dillon Mitchell and Whitehead led the way for Montverde in the fourth quarter and were able to cut the lead to 8 at one point. Middleton made big plays down the stretch to counter Montverde’s runs.
Sunrise would hang on and make enough free throws down the stretch to maintain a double-digit lead for most of the quarter and pull away with a statement win.
Sunrise shot 53% from the field, 60% from three, and went 11-21 (52%) from FT. Sunrise had 31 total rebounds, 28 defensive and 3 offensive. Sunrise had 17 assists and 4 steals. Sunrise made 12 threes in the game (11 in the first half). Sunrise’s bench outscored Montverde’s bench 23-5.
Dick had a team-high 20 points on 6-13 shooting (5-10 from three), 4 rebounds, and 1 assist. Middleton had his best offensive game of the season with 19 points off the bench on 7-7 shooting (3-4 from FT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Corhen shot 4-5 (3-3 from three) to give him 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Blocker had a great floor game with 2 points, team-high 9 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Sunrise will take on No. 17 Wasatch Academy today at 3 p.m. EST on ESPN+. Wasatch is coming off a 91-49 loss and onslaught from Oak Hill last night. To check out what's in store for today’s game, click here.