The first week of the high school basketball season has become a tradition now for the Hoopsgiving Basketball Tournament, hosted by Sunnyslope High School and their Vikings basketball team. Last season Sunnyslope would fall just short of winning the tournament title, but this year would prove very different as the Vikings, led by the play of 6-foot-3 senior guard Dane Maggi, would win the tournament.
In the tournament final, host Sunnyslope HS (4-0) would face Brophy Prep. Brophy Prep (3-1) had been playing very well in the event, defeating each of their previous three opponents en route to the tournament final in fine fashion, even though Mountain Pointe HS came back late against them. They would face a talented but young Sunnyslope team in the championship game, only to fall to the Vikings 54-52.
Sunnyslope HS 6-foot-3 senior guard Dane Maggi would have a good night again. Maggi is a tough, hardnosed athlete with a nice ability to make perimeter shots and also finish strong in traffic. His ability to stretch the defenses with his perimieter shooting also creates problems for opposing teams. Maggi also provides excellent leadership for his young teammates, which may have been the difference in the tournament final.
Brophy Prep 6-foot-1junior guard Ryan Meza would catch fire late in the game - hitting several three-pointers late in the game. 6-foot-5 sophomore Jaxson Baker would also make several three-pointers on the evening for Brophy Prep, but the talented young group of guards for Sunnyslope would prove to be too much for the Broncos.
Sunnyslope will be good this season, but they will only better over time, as the core group of players for the team all all sophomores. 5-foot-9 sophomore guard Jaran Whitfield, 5-foot-11 sophomore guard Bryson "Pee-Wee" MeWhinney, 5-foot-10 sophomore guard Alan Abayev, 5-foot-9 sophomore guard Andrew Greb, 5-foot-10 sophomore Terrance Gilder, 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Kyle Fischer and 6-foot-4 sophomore post Chris Orozco make up 7 different sophomores on the Vikings team.
Congratulations to the Vikings on their tournament title and a nice performance to kick off the 2015-2016 high school basketball season.