By: Steven Pham
Photos by: Kobi Russom
Wichita, KS. - No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy takes down Premier Academy 99-68. Sunrise moves to 18-1 on the season with eight games remaining. The starters for Sunrise were Dillon Hunter, Scotty Middleton, Gradey Dick, Mark Mitchell, and Cam Corhen.
Six of the first seven baskets in the game were three-pointers. Both teams could not miss a shot in the opening minutes. Premier's largest lead was 12-8 at the beginning of the game. It was all Sunrise after that brief lead from Premier.
Sunrise played full-court press defense in the closing minutes that led to deflections, steals, and forced turnovers against Premier. Sunrise's full-court press defense generated a 22-4 run and Sunrise led 30-16 at the end of the first quarter.
Middleton scored the first 6 points in the quarter for Sunrise. Everyone got it going offensively for Sunrise in that quarter. Bobi Klintman, Jerome Beya, and Layden Blocker came off the bench and made plays on both sides of the ball. Dick and Mitchell played well in the first quarter and continued in the second quarter.
Premier started to cool off offensively and struggled to score in the second quarter. Sunrise outscored Premier 24-6 in the quarter. Dick had 15 points, Mitchell had 11 points, Middleton had 9 points, and Blocker had 8 points. Sunrise led 54-22 at the half.
Dick and Mitchell have been an unstoppable duo all season long and they continued their success in the opening minutes of the quarter. They combined for 10 of Sunrise's first 12 points in the quarter.
Kobe Thompson got it going offensively for Premier and was their best player last night. He had 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter. Sunrise held a commanding 79-42 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Sunrise emptied their bench and the real fun began. Joe Zhang had a couple of electrifying plays that had the crowd ecstatic. He had 7 points and led Sunrise in scoring during the final quarter. Beya and Armaan Bhakta both played well with 5 points each in the quarter. This was Sunrise's highest-scoring game of the season with 99 points.
Sunrise shot 57% from the field, 40% from three, and went 19-30 (63%) from FT. Sunrise had a season-high 44 total rebounds; 11 offensive and a season-high 33 defensive. Sunrise had a season-high 27 assists on 35 made FGs, 5 blocks, and 12 steals.
Dick had a team-high 22 points on 7-9 shooting (6-8 from three), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Mitchell had 17 points on 8-10 shooting (8-8 from two), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block. Blocker had 10 points on 3-7 shooting (4-4 from FT), team-high 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Middleton had 9 points on 4-7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
Sunrise will head back on the road and travel to New Jersey for the NIBC title. There will be three games on their road trip. Stay on the lookout for a preview article over this upcoming trip.