Posted On: 01/19/18 10:27 PM
Sunnyslope was on the road tonight to take on Ironwood. Slope was playing without starting guard Bryson Mewhinney. In a game which was much more tightly contested than the final score would indicate, the Vikings came away with a 60-47 win. Sunnyslope was led by Kyle Fischer with 16 points and Allan Abayev with 14. Meanwhile, Ironwood was paced by Tyrese Eugene with 17 points and Dom Gonzalez with 12. Here are five key takeaways from tonight’s action.
Sunnyslope’s senior wing Kyle Fischer can do it all on the basketball court. With the size and strength to battle inside, coupled with the agility and ball handling to play a guard position, Fischer is Slope’s most integral piece. He competes on both ends with a fiery disposition which opposing players often struggle to match, causing them to wilt. Tonight, it was Fischer’s playmaking ability which was on full display as he routinely made the right pass on time and on target to set teammates up for good looks. Fischer is among a short list of favorites for 5A Player of the Year.
Ironwood is an intriguing team due to the way that they compete for an entire 32 minutes and their length. With a frontcourt of 6’7” and 6’11”, they are among the biggest in the state. Their stud sophomore, at 6’3” with long arms, combines to gives them a high level of versatility on defense. On the offensive end, Gonzalez is smooth and consistently hits jump shots. He is reminiscent of Mountain Pointe’s Amarion Cash with a more natural knack for scoring.
While Deer Valley has been impressive all season, and it is expected that Mesquite will be in the picture, it is Sunnyslope that looks like the favorite to repeat as 5A state champions. Led by the aforementioned Fischer, they come at you in waves with physically strong, mature players who make very few mistakes. In a 32 minute high school game, it is often the team who is able to make three to four fewer mistakes than an opponent who comes out on top. This team is very well coached and plays with a sense of accountability which starts with the players themselves. If someone is able to dethrone them this year, they will have to earn it.
There is much talk this season about the influx of good new coaches in the state of Arizona. There have been big turnarounds at some of the bigger programs in the state. However, what is happening at Ironwood under young coach Jordan Augustine is very impressive. When you watch them play, you can see very little difference in comparison to the more established programs. They compete and execute similar to those programs who have been winning for years. Tonight, the stands were full of supportive students, parents, and even middle school basketball teams all excited to support what is being built at Ironwood. Once the level of incoming talent to the school picks up, they could be scary good.
The most potential seen on the night was actually in the Junior Varsity game in Sunnyslope’s 6’9” freshman Carson Basham. Still needing to fill out his frame with muscle, the 15 year old possesses good tools already. His nice touch and the way in which he passes the ball extremely well out of the post make him impressive. In a talented 2021 Arizona class, he will definitely be a name to look out for in the coming months and years.