Sunnyslope Blows Out Deer Valley

by Justin Vargas | Posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

The scene was set for a big-time match-up between two of the best teams in the Northwest Valley.  The defending state champions, Sunnyslope Vikings (10-2) traveled to play the undefeated Deer Valley Skyhawks (11-1).  The gym was packed for the heavyweight bout, as Deer Valley welcomed back some of their alum’s that used to have this side of town buzzing in the early-mid 2000’s.  With Deer Valley legend, Lawrence Hill, on the bench as an assistant coach and past greats like Christian Polk, Joey Shaw and Eli Davis watching in the stands, there was a buzz echoing throughout the gym.

It looked as if the gym was going to spontaneously combust on the first possession of the game, as Deer Valley’s 6-foot-5 junior forward Jaret Allen would pin Sunnyslope’s star 6-foot-4 wing Kyle Fischer’s lay-up off the glass to get the crowd rocking.  However, Sunnyslope would get out to an 8-0 run to start the game, while Deer Valley struggled to find their offensive rhythm early.  It would take the home team Skyhawks almost 4 minutes to finally get on the board, as Fischer proceeded to slice up Deer Valley’s man-to-man defense.

On the other side of the court, Sunnyslope’s discipline and rotation in their 2-3 zone was nothing short of impressive, as they would swarm the ball with two defenders on virtually every possession.  Deer Valley’s 6-foot-1 senior guard Keyvaughn Williams would get fouled on a 3-point attempt in the corner at the buzzer, and would can all (3) free-throws to get his team to within 4 to end the quarter.

Deer Valley would come out of the 2nd quarter with an extra pep in their step, as they were attempting to make the game a track meet early on.  But Sunnyslope’s bruising 6-foot-5 senior forward Chris Orozco had something to say about it, as his block on Deer Valley’s 6-foot-7 big man Bryce Davis would put him on his backside, and bring the Sunnyslope bench and visiting fans out of their seats.  Orozco was far from being finished with putting his footprint on this game, as he would record back-to-back baskets to give Slope a 16-8 lead with 5 minutes to go in the first half.

Just as it looked like Deer Valley was trying to find some life in the 2nd period, Fischer would make yet another big play - chasing down Deer Valley’s 5-foot-11 senior guard Deven Breckner with a tempo-changing block to maintain their 8-point lead going into the half.

The Vikings would own the early moments of the 2nd half, as Fischer would drop off a beautiful dime to Orozco - giving them a 24-10 lead, as they would start the second half on a 8-0 run.  With just over a minute left in the 3rd quarter, there would finally be a Bryce Davis sighting, as he would record back-to-back baskets to get the Skyhawks to within 10.  Nevertheless, Slope was ready to answer with back-to-back baskets of their own to head into the final quarter with a commanding 31-17 lead in a surprising low-scoring affair.

Sunnyslope came into the 4th quarter about as methodical and efficient as you could have asked for, as Fischer would get put into isolation and hit a nice fadeaway to give them a 38-23 lead with 6 minutes left in the game.

The air would be sucked out of the gym on both sides as Sunnyslope’s 6-foot senior guard Andrew Greb would drive in hard and finish a lay-up over Davis.  However he would get his body contorted in an awkward position after the collision with the much bigger player, and slam hard to the ground, as he laid nearly motionless for about 15 minutes.  He would leave the game on a stretcher as both teams, coaches and fans applauded him.

Sunnyslope would cruise on to a 54-30 impressive win on the road to plant themselves as the top team in the 5A conference.

The Arizona Preps staff’s thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew Greb and his family, and wish him a healthy and speedy recovery.  We have our finger’s crossed for you, Andrew.

Notes:  Just a few thoughts after the game.  I wasn’t such a high believer in this Sunnyslope team the first couple times I saw them, but boy have they ever changed my mind.  They are incredibly coached by Ray Portela and his staff, and they have a bonafide player in Kyle Fischer, whom I personally believe could be a factor at any low-major college program in the country.  He is poised and has a great basketball I.Q.  While he will not “wow” you with athleticism or leaping ability, he is crafty and deceptive and just flat out knows how to play the game.  What made me more impressed with him than anything was a moment while the game was paused.  Fischer got asked by a fan on the sideline if he “had 30 points yet?” Fischer’s response was “I don’t know. But I know we’re winning. That’s all that counts!” That is a kid you want in your program!

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