Sunnyslope Stretches Against Apollo On Road

by Anthony Ray | Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

After losing two of their last (8) games of the high school season, which the state's 5A Division defending state champions are not accustomed to doing, Sunnyslope High School (21-5) got back to their winning ways on Tuesday evening - completing a big road win over a talented Apollo team 58-38.

The contest began as a low-scoring affair in the first half, as Sunnyslope comfortably held a nice lead in the contest.  Apollo (13-11) has a very talented team, but they are young.  As a result, the team has struggled to gain consistency this season.

Late in the first half, Apollo's skilled 6-foot-7 junior wing Emmanuel Taban would hit a three-pointer to narrow the Sunnyslope lead to 7 points, 22-15, with 1:39 remaining.

Immediately after, 6-foot-1 senior point guard Bryson MeWhinney (pictured) would collect a loose ball and finish a layup in transition in the open floor.  Then the next trip down the floor, do-it-all 6-foot-4 senior forward Kyle Fischer would make a nice assist to teammate, 5-foot-11 senior guard Allan Abayev for a three-pointer from the wing, as the halftime buzzer sounded - giving the Vikings a 27-15 lead at the half.

The second half began with Sunnyslope looking to put Apollo away, as MeWhinney would score on a mid-range floater, just before a steal in the open floor by Kyle Fischer.  Fischer would travel the length of the floor and throw down a strong two handed dunk on the break to give Sunnyslope a 31-15 lead.  Fischer though would get called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim, which would give Apollo two foul shots, which Emmanuel Taban would convert.  The free-throws would give Apollo life.

Apollo's 6-foot-1 senior forward Martin Simon would grab an offensive rebound and finish the put-back with 2:47 left to play in the third period, which would pull Apollo to within 8 points of Slope, 31-23.  But every time Apollo would make a run, the Sunnyslope team would rev up their offensive engine to keep pace with the Hawks.

Apollo would pull to within 7 points of Sunnyslope at the end of three quarters, after a buzzer-beating layup by 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Zeke Thompkins (son of Gary Thompkins).  Thompkins impressive catch and finish in the air at the buzzer would make the score 37-30, Slope.

In the fourth period, with Apollo surging for a comeback, 6-foot-6 senior post Chris Orozco would score a basket inside to start the period, then finish a three-point play in transition to put his team ahead by 10 points, 42-32.  After a floater in transition by Kyle Fischer, another transition layup by Allan Abayev, another strong basket in the paint by Fischer, which resulted in a three-point play, and consecutive offensive put-backs by Orozco late in the period, Sunnyslope would pull away, 56-34.

Sunnyslope would cruise to the big road win, 58-38 - getting back into winning form and preparing for their final regular season contest against Sierra Linda HS (2/6).

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