The talk of this year's 1st Annual Hoopsgiving Tournament at Sunnyslope High School was Brophy Prep early on. The Broncos are very big and have a talented group this season, led by experienced head coach Tony Fuller. Fuller does not allow his teams to beat themselves, so this year's group will only get better throughout the season.
Host Sunnyslope High School is also very talented again this season. While the Vikings are very young, their young prospects are good - combined with the state's top scoring guard, 6-foot-3 senior combo-guard prospect Sammy Barnes-Thompkins. Barnes-Thompkins (pictured) will put up impressive numbers all season, and as the Vikings' young freshman mature throughout the season, look out.
With a packed house of fans in attendance for the tournament's championship game on Friday evening, both teams would come out like two fighters - with each team jockeying for position in the first quarter. Sammy Barnes-Thompkins would struggle to find his shot early, amidst loads of defensive pressure from the Broncos. Barnes-Thompkins would start the game 1 for 8 from the field. He would connect on his first field goal with 3:13 left to play in the first period, a three-pointer - tieing the game at 8 all.
Sunnyslope would hold on to a 12-11 lead after the first quarter.
After getting in foul trouble, Brophy Prep talented 6-foot-3 junior guard Brock "Beau" Brunkhorst would start the second period on the bench. Brunkhorst would sit for the remainder of the first half with 2 fouls.
With Brunkhorst on the bench, Barnes-Thompkins would ignite his offense in the second period. After collecting a steal and then knocking down a long-range three-pointer, Barnes-Thompkins would then make 2 more free-throws, and then another three-pointer to keep his team in the game.
Brophy Prep 6-foot-9 senior post Mike Kempton would then get it going for his team. Kempton would score (4) consecutive field goals, including a three-point play to put Brophy ahead 24-22 with 2:38 left to play in the half. But Barnes-Thompkins would come right back late in the half with another three-pointer to give Sunnyslope a one-point advantage, 27-26.
Host Sunnyslope would go into the half tied with Brophy Prep, 29 all.
In the third period, Barnes-Thompkins would get it going again - connecting on a three-pointer and a layup in transition to give Sunnyslope a 41-37 lead. Then a three-point play after being fouled by Barnes-Thompkins, and then another driving layup by Barnes-Thompkins, and the Vikings would take a 46-40 lead with 1:40 remainning in the third period.
After a one-point lead after three quarters, Sunnyslope would hold on in the fourth period, until a three-point play from 5-foot-10 freshman guard Bryson "Pee-Wee" MeWhinney (10 points) would give the Vikings a 58-56 lead with 3:25 left to play.
After another basket inside by Matt Kempton, and then another 3-pointer from Barnes-Thompkins, Slope would hold on to a one-point advantage, 61-60. But another Kempton basket in transition would give Brophy Prep back the lead.
With :40 seconds left to play in the game, Sunnyslope would take a 65-64 lead after a nice mid-range pull-up jumper from 6-foot-3 junior guard Dane Maggi. Maggi (13 points) attended Brophy Prep last year and was fired up for this championship game.
Then after a timeout, Brophy Prep would run down the clock, before Brock Brunkhorst would survey the floor, before driving and pulling up for a mid-range jump-shot off the glass over a defender. The basket would give the Broncos a 66-65 lead with 7.4 seconds left to play. After several timeouts and several intentional fouls on the ball by Brophy, Barnes-Thompkins would miss a long-range fade away three-pointer at the buzzer - a shot that would cascade off the glass and the rim.
Brophy Prep would win this year's 1st annual tournament, and Brophy's 6-foot-1 senior guard Matt Stark would be slected as the Tournament Most Valuable Player, after finishing the game with 19 points in the game. 6-foot-6 senior post Fred Erlandson would compete hard all game inside the post. Erlandson would also be selected as a member of the All-Tournament Team.
Sammy Barnes-Thompkins and Dane Maggi would both be selected for the All-Tournament Team for Sunnyslope.
Matt Kempton would finish with a team-high 20 points in the win, while Sammy Barnes-Thompkins would pour in a game-high 31 points in the loss.