By: Steven Pham
Graphic by: National Hoopfest
Wichita, KS. - No. 4 ranked Sunrise is in Utah for the 5 For The Fight Hoopfest hosted by Pleasant Grove High School. Sunrise will play two games on this Utah trip. The first one is against American Fork on Tuesday, November 22nd at 7:30 p.m. CST on BallerTV. The second match is an early top-5 showdown against #2 AZ Compass on Wednesday, November 23rd at 6 p.m. CST on ESPN+.
This marks the start of the second NIBC season as 5 of the 10 teams start their quest for the conference title on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bishop Walsh will take on Wasatch Academy and AZ Compass will play #1 Montverde Academy at the same venue on Tuesday. Sunrise defends their NIBC title on Wednesday against AZ Compass.
AZ Compass joins the NIBC this season and is looking to make a lot of noise by taking down the national champions Montverde Academy and defending NIBC champions Sunrise on back-to-back nights.
Ed Gipson has been the head coach for AZ Compass since 2018 and has been one of the top programs over the past couple of seasons. AZ Compass is filled with talent from top to bottom. AZ Compass has five players ranked on ESPN’s Top 100 for the class of 2023. They are led by #15 ranked Mookie Cook, #60 Zayden High, #68 Rayvon Griffith, #80 Trent Pierce, and #86 Tru Washington.
They have two players ranked on ESPN’s Top 60 for the class of 2024. These juniors are #17 ranked Vyctorius Miller and #54 Marcus Allen. The rest of the roster includes; Pharaoh Compton, Jordan Ross, and Vincent Delano.
Sunrise will face its biggest test of the season so far in Utah. This could be the first of many meetings between these two highly-ranked programs. The key to this game will be defense and who can capitalize off the opponent's mistake. Sunrise has started a couple of their games slow this season and got into rhythm usually towards the end of the first quarter. Sunrise needs to get in an offensive rhythm earlier in the game and let their elite defense be the difference maker.
You can catch all the NIBC matchups on ESPN+ this season. There will be three tremendous NIBC matches on Tuesday and Wednesday to kick off the second NIBC season. Be sure to tune in!!!