Paradise Honors Meets Valley Christian in 3A Battle

by Lucas Archuleta | Posted on Sunday, December 16th, 2018

In a big-time match-up of 3A Arizona powerhouses Paradise Honors (16-3) and Valley Christian High School (16-4), neither team disappointed.  Both schools have multiple players who could play at the collegiate level, and, from start to finish, it was a very competitive and intense game. Valley Christian, who didn’t play with one of their senior leaders Connor Braun, still had a very good showing against a very talented Paradise Honors program.

In the first half every possession was competitive, as both teams were feeling each other out.  Paradise Honors senior guard Josh Hawkins had a very strong start to get Paradise Honors going, as his aggressive play allowed him to get his offensive game going early.  Hawkins is a very athletic and skilled guard who can do a little bit of everything.  He also excels off the bounce and in transition, where he can use his athleticism and finishing ability at the rim.  Hawkins competed on both ends and really set the tone for Paradise Honors, as he finished with 12 points for the game.

Paradise Honors' sophomore guard Jalen Scott also got it going early for Paradise Honors, as he was showing flashes of a very promising future.  Jalen was doing everything from scoring, grabbing rebounds, getting steals and setting up his teammates for open looks.  Jalen is athletic, can score at all three levels, has a great feel for the game, is a really good passer, and competes extremely hard.  He led all scorers for the game with 16 points.

On the other end, senior guard Jalen Grijalva and junior guard Logan Phillips also got it going early for Valley Christian.  Jalen played a very impressive overall game for his team.  He’s a smart, crafty, skilled and quick guard that hardly ever makes a mistake. Jalen had a lot of success early attacking off the bounce, and he also knocked down a couple threes early.  He also created offense for his teammates and used his passing ability to make others better. Jalen finished with a team-leading 14 points for Valley Christian.

Junior Logan Phillips had a good start early and played well all game, even while going against multiple defenders and pressure all game. Logan is a long, athletic, lefty guard that can score at all three levels and does so at a high level.  He’s one of the better pure shooters in the state and can score in a plethora of ways.  Logan can also make plays for others, as he has a great feel for the game.  He also competes every play he is out on the floor.  Logan finished with 11 points for the game.

After a very competitive first half, the second half looked like Paradise Honors would pull away early.  Junior Roy Eze, sophomore Matur Dhal and sophomore Wyatte Bell stepped up early in the second half to give their team a spark.

Roy Eze had three dunks early in the 3rd, and had a couple and-one finishes late in the quarter.  Eze is a very athletic and long player who uses his strength and physicality to finish at a high level.  He also has a great motor and hits the glass.  He is also a very good defender.  He finished with 12 points.

Matur Dhal also had a a dunk for a finish and a couple key blocks in the second half - giving his team a lift.  Matur is a long, athletic and skilled player who affects both ends of the floor with his size and versatility.

Lastly, Wyatte Bell provided energy off the bench for his team, and was able to get a couple finishes at the rim, as he pulled in an offensive rebound for a finish.

Late it looked like Paradise Honors was going to pull away, but Valley Christian showed great resiliency, as they batted back and tied the game late.  Senior Peyton Hanzal made some big plays late for his team, as he had some tough finishes at the rim and knocked down a couple open shots.  Peyton is a crafty, skilled player who can shoot the ball and make plays off the bounce.

Valley Christian battled back and tied the game late.  It was tied at 53 all, before Paradise Honors was able to make a couple of plays late, and then knocked down some free throws to seal the victory, 58-53, in a very competitive and exciting game.

Both of these teams should look to make a deep playoff run in state and may play each other again this season.

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