Opponents: Air Capitol Hoopfest Preview
By: Steven Pham
Graphic by: Jon D'Angelo
Wichita, KS. - No. 10 Sunrise Christian Academy is hosting the Air Capitol Hoopfest at Charles Koch Arena. This three-day event starts this Thursday, December 1st and lasts till Saturday, December 3rd. Get tickets here: adult single day: $15 +fees, youth & student: $8 +fees, adult pass: $35 +fees, and youth & student pass: $15 +fees.
Teams & Matchups
There will be five other teams competing at this Hoopfest. They include; #1 AZ Compass, #16 Wasatch Academy, #21 Oak Hill Academy, Bishop Walsh, and Legacy School of Sport Science. Sunrise needs to take advantage of this Hoopfest and string some wins together to climb up the NIBC standings.
On day one, Sunrise takes on Oak Hill at 5:30 p.m. and AZ Compass takes on Wasatch at 7:30 p.m. Day two, Bishop Walsh takes on AZ Compass at 4 p.m., Wasatch plays against Oak Hill at 6 p.m., and Sunrise closes day two against Legacy at 8 p.m. Day three is just one game with Sunrise vs. Bishop Walsh at 6 p.m.
Day 1: Sunrise vs. Oak Hill @ 5:30 p.m.
Oak Hill is led by first-year head coach Yerrick Stoneman. They come into the Hoopfest with a 9-0 record. Zion Pipkin is the only player on Oak Hill’s roster that is ranked on ESPN. He is the 27th-ranked player for the class of 2024.
The rest of the roster includes Dontae Russo-Nance, Josh Holloway, Kaden Magwood, AJ Swinton, Micah Robinson, Jeremiah Whitmore, Nic Book, Marcus McDonald, Tautoko Wynyard, Elijah Mitchell, Bronson Schmidt-Uili, Drayton Jones, Jamie Vinson IV, and Dame Salane.
This will be the start of Oak Hill’s journey in the NIBC this season. In their meeting last season, Sunrise squeezed out a 64-61 victory. The star power and head coach for Oak Hill might be different this season but it will still be a tall task against this historically great program.
Day 2: Sunrise vs. Legacy SSS @ 8 p.m.
Legacy is led by head coach PJ Couisnard. Their roster includes Frederick Payne, Ryan Bolton, Kameron Burton, Malakye Cunningham, Ma’syn Howell, Corey Skillman, Daaron Thompkins, Jalen Tomlinson, Tobin Triplett, and Miles Williams.
These two teams met last season on November 20th, 2021. Sunrise won 86-48 but Payne did give Sunrise some problems last season. Expecting a closer game than last year but we will see how round two goes for both teams.
Day 3: Sunrise vs. Bishop Walsh @ 6 p.m.
Bishop Walsh suffered a 63-50 loss to Wasatch Academy to open up their NIBC season. They are looking to bounce back and get back in the win column just like Sunrise.
They are led by 5th-year head coach Dan Prete. Their roster includes; Camren Fleming, Luis Botelho, Israel Bosenge, Mike Williams III, Emmanuel Okitondo, Savon Sutton, Vilius Slanina, Matthew Selmon, Soloman Mustafa-Reid, Mikkel Tyne, and Raphael Akuta.
These two teams played last season on February 3rd, 2022. Sunrise embarrassed Bishop Walsh 75-29. Bishop Walsh finished last in the NIBC season last year and is looking to upset some of the elite programs in the conference.