By: Steven Pham
Graphics by: Ryan Deppen
Wichita, KS. - After a brief holiday break, No. 2 Sunrise Christian Academy (9-1) is back in action this week at the La Porte NIBC invitational. This will be Sunrise’s second road trip for the NIBC, with three important games in La Porte, IN.
Sunrise’s first game out of three is a rematch against No. 1 Montverde Academy (11-2). Montverde handed Sunrise their first and only loss of the season so far. These two teams face off on Thursday, January 6th at 5 p.m. EST. This game will be streaming on ESPNU.
The last meeting between these two teams was December 4th, 2021 with a 53-44 Montverde victory. Since their last meeting, Sunrise has bounced back with two dominant wins before the holiday break and Montverde went 6-1.
Montverde won the City of Palms Classic and is heating up for the second half of the season. This is a huge game for both teams and Sunrise has a chance to become the No. 1 ranked team in the nation and stay on top of the NIBC standings.
Sunrise will take on No. 17 Wasatch Academy (10-4) on the second day of the La Porte invitational. This will be the first of two meetings between these two teams this season. This game will be on Friday, January 7th at 3 p.m. EST. This game will be streaming on ESPN+.
The last meeting between these two teams was on January 29th, 2021 at the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament (MAIT). Sunrise pulled away with an 84-69 win.
Wasatch has suffered all four of its losses against some of the best teams in the nation. Three of their losses have been in NIBC play to La Lumiere, Bishop Walsh, and Montverde Academy. Those losses pushed Wasatch to the bottom of the NIBC standings. The other loss came against AZ Compass Prep during Hoophall West.
Wasatch is led by head coach Paul Peterson. He has been the coach since 2018. Wasatch has two players on ESPN’s Top 100 recruits for the class of 2022. They have Roddy Gayle (ranked #64) and Chris Bunch (#97).
The rest of their roster is; Jacob Antchak, Manuel Coronado, Camden Heide, Matus Hronsky, Yi Je Huang, Keba Keita, Xinyi Li, Willie Lightfoot, Benedict Loh, and Anthony Wrzeszcz.
Wasatch will look to bounce back in NIBC play this week and move up in the standings. They play No. 16 Oak Hill Academy (13-6) on the first day of the La Porte invitational and before their game against Sunrise.
Sunrise will play against Legacy Early College (4-7) on the last night of the La Porte invitational. This will be the only meeting between these two teams this season. The game will be on Saturday, January 8th at 9 p.m. EST. This game will be streaming on ESPN+.
Legacy has been off to a rough start during the first half of this season. They snapped a five-game losing streak before the holiday break with the hopes of turning their season around.
Legacy is at the bottom of the NIBC standings as well with a 1-3 record in NIBC play. They will be playing No. 10 La Lumiere (9-1) on night one and No. 6 IMG Academy (11-2) on night two of the La Porte Invitational.
B.J Jackson is in his ninth season as the head coach of Legacy. The roster is made up of Coen Carr, Khalil Arnold, Zaylan Chaney, Chase Clemmons, Aaron Hall, Bryce Hawkins, Kristian Hodges, Khali Horton, Perry Smith Jr., and Savon Sutton.
Legacy consistently struggles against elite competition and will have to face off against a top 25 team every night in La Porte, IN.