Game Recap: Westtown (Metro Classic)
By: Steven Pham
Photos by: Kobi Russom
Wichita, KS. - No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy moves to 20-1 on the season after a defensive victory against Westtown 54-43. It was a low-scoring game as both defenses came ready to play.
Westtown came out aggressive on both ends of the court and jumped out to a surprising 11-3 lead. Sunrise was sloppy to start the game but eventually settled in towards the end of the quarter.
Dereck Lively and Westtown dominated inside in the quarter. He had 4 points and outrebounded Sunrise by himself with 5 rebounds. He impacted every shot attempt inside with his size and length. Sunrise would trail 13-8 after the first quarter.
Sunrise started to find ways to score against Lively. It all started on the defensive end forcing Westtown into late shot-clock situations and forcing tough shots.
Gradey Dick was a bright spot for Sunrise in the first-half. He had 11 of Sunrise’s 21 first half points. Sunrise figured out to slow down Lively and Westtown’s offense and would carry that into the second half. Sunrise took a 21-19 lead at the half.
Cam Corhen prevented Lively from getting deep inside the paint and forced up a tough miss. Corhen proceeded to run the floor after Lively’s miss and got rewarded with an easy slam. This was the first play of the quarter and set the tone for Sunrise.
Mark Mitchell got his game going with 7 of his 10 points in the quarter. Layden Blocker was the energizer off the bench with a couple of outstanding plays. He had an electrifying dunk to end the quarter and give Sunrise the momentum going into the fourth quarter.
Sunrise held Lively to 0 points in the quarter and went on an 18-5 run. Sunrise blew the game open and led 39-24 after three quarters.
Westtown did not go down without a fight and started the quarter off with an 11-0 run. Just as Westtown regained the momentum, Scotty Middleton and Mitchell responded with two threes to push the lead back up to double-figures.
The last-minute push from Westtown's Quin Berger and Jameel Brown fell short. Berger had 8 of his 15 points in the quarter and Brown had 5 of his 12 points here as well. Sunrise's Mitchell, Middleton, and Blocker helped seal the victory late in the fourth.
Sunrise shot 43% from the field, 33% from three, and went 6-9 (66%) from FT. Sunrise had 31 total rebounds, 7 offensive, and 24 defensive. Sunrise had a season-low of 9 assists, 3 blocks, and 10 steals. Sunrise had a 26-14 points in the paint advantage over Westtown even with Lively's size.
Dick had a game-high 16 points on 6-11 shooting (3-7 from three), 6 rebounds, 1 block, and 5 steals. Mitchell had 14 points on 5-10 shooting (3-5 from FT), 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Blocker had 11 points on 5-7 shooting (1-2 from three), 2 rebounds, and 2 steals off the bench. Middleton had 7 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, and 1 steal.
Sunrise will close out the Metro Classic against No. 3 IMG Academy for the NIBC title. The game is at 5 p.m. EST and streaming on ESPN+.