When a high-level event like the National Inter-Scholastic Basketball Conference come to town, we make it a point to take in a least one night. We felt like Friday was the best option with #1 Montverde taking on #2 IMG. Both Florida-based teams are national powers and have developed an incredible rivalry over the last few years.
But first, we get another top ten matchup in Oak Hill out of Virginia taking on Sunrise Christian from Kansas. Oak Hill may be the “O.G” of basketball academies, but programs like Sunrise are nipping at their heels and having national success not just on the court in terms of victories but also in recruiting high-major players to fuel those victories. Both teams lost on opening night and seeing as no one wants to leave here 1-2 (at best), this has all the makings of a terrific game.
Oak Hill was the first to get on the board after a driving score from Judah Mintz. Sunrise was quick to respond with a dunk from Cam Corhen. Chris Livingston connected on one of two free throws for the Warriors but that was answered by a three off the dribble by Gradey Dick of Sunrise. Once again, Livingston went one of two from the line and after a couple of empty possessions for Sunrise, Christian, Christian Reeves threw down a dunk in transition to give Oak Hill a 6-5 lead with 4:14 left in the opening quarter. Sunrise responded with a 6-0 run as Mark Mitchell hit a mid-range jumper, scored on a cut to the basket, and Layden Blocker scored on a drive to make the score 11-6. Justin McBride of Oak Hill put back in a miss to get to within three put Bobi Klintman of Sunrise scored on a drive to make it a five point game. A bucket on the break by Livingston was offset by a transition dunk from Corhen of Sunrise to give them a 15-10 lead going into the second quarter.
Mitchell of Sunrise scored on a dunk to open the second quarter. Oak Hill responded with a mid-range jumper from Mintz. Klintman again scored at the basket for Sunrise and after a drive by Livingston of Oak Hill, the margin was still five at 19-14. A putback by Corhen pushed the margin to seven but then Devin Ree of Oak Hill connected on a three. Sunrise’s Klintman scored again to make the score 23-17 with 4:19 left in the quarter. Oak Hill then put together five quick points as Jeremy Gregory scored on a drive and Caleb Foster knocked down a three in transition. All of a sudden it’s a one point game. That is until Dick of Sunrise has a steal and score to push their lead to three. That didn’t last long as Livingston dunked one home ad then hit a three on the break. Oak Hill now had its first lead since 3-2 in the first quarter. Sunrise responded with a putback by Joe Zhang to tie the game at 27-27 at the break.
The Grady Dick Show opened the third quarter. He put up a 7-2 run with a three, two free throws and a putback while all Oak Hill could get was a transition basket from Foster. The Warriors responded quickly as Ree hit a mid-range jumper and Mintz hit one of two free throws to get back within two at 34-32. Sunrise then put on a 6-0 run as Mitchell scored once and Klintman scored as well to make the score 40-32, forcing an Oak Hill timeout at the 4:29 mark. Blocker of Sunrise scored inside for Sunrise to make it a ten point game. Ree of Oak Hill connected on two free throws but the margin remained ten as Blocker scored inside again. Oak Hill’s Livingston converted a three point play but Eddy Pinedo of Sunrise scored in transition to make the score 46-37 in favor of Sunrise with 2:04 left in quarter. Oak Hill then caught fire as Livingstonl hit a free throw and Foster connected on a pair of threes to get within two. After a Sunrise turnover, Foster scored in transition to beat the quarter buzzer and once again the game was tied, 46-46.
Oak Hill struck first with a bucket inside from Corhen. Blocker responded with a putback for Sunrise. A three from Ree gave Oak Hill its biggest lead of the contest but it was quickly answered by a pair of free throws from Mitchell. A putback by Oak Hill’s Reeves pushed the lead back to three but Sunrise then reeled off six straight points as Mitchell hit one of two free throws, Blocker scored on a drive and Dick knocked down a three off the dribble to make the score 56-53 in favor of Sunrise with three minutes left. Livingston tied the score with a three of his own. The teams traded two point baskets to make the score 58-58 with 1:24 to play. Mitchell of Sunrise was fouled in transition and after hitting two free throws, Oak Hill called a timeout. Oak Hill had its chances but turned the ball over twice. Forced to foul, Oak Hill sent Mitchell to the line and he hit two free throws to make the margin four at 62-58 with twelve seconds left. Oak Hill still had time and Foster drilled a three to get within one with five seconds remaining. Mitchell once again was fouled, this time with 2.2 seconds left. He made both to put Sunrise up by three. Oak Hill actually had a chance at a desperation three but was unable to control the basketball. Sunrise wins a close contest 64-61.
Dick led Sunrise with 21 points while Mitchell finished with 19 and Blocker had 10 points.
For Oak Hill, Foster and Livingston both finished with 20 points.