Sunnyslope High School (3-0), the defending 5A State Champions, are already rolling this high school season - sporting a very poised team that has done this before, several times. Led by the overall play of 6-foot-4, 175-pound senior forward Kyle Fischer and an experienced and balanced attack, the Vikings would cruise past a very talented Rancho Solano Prep (2-1) team on Wednesday evening in the semi-finals of their annual Hoopsgiving Pre-season Tournament - advancing to the tournament's championship game.
Rancho Solano is one of the state's most talented teams, but they are still very young. It would show on Wednesday as they would face the state's most experienced ballclub. Sunnyslope would share the ball at a very high rate and run their offense almost to perfection - forcing Rancho into numerous quick shot attempts in route to a nice 68-48 victory.
After taking a 15-11 lead after the first period, Sunnyslope would build their lead to a comfortable 25-13 lead with 4:15 left to play in the first half, after a three-pointer and then a steal and uncontested layup from 5-foot-11 senior guard Jaran Whitfield.
Sunnyslope would take a 31-17 lead into halftime, behind a nice offensive and defensive attack, which included them running their offense patiently and executing in a manner seldom seen from any Arizona high school team.
In the third period, Rancho Solano, behind the play of talented 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Kimanii Holt and 6-foot-8 sophomore post Hunter Ruck, would narrow the Sunnyslope lead down to within double-digits by the end of the period, 42-33.
In the fourth period though, Sunnyslope would get back to business and run their offense through Kyle Fischer, who would orchestrate the offense for his team - either scoring off the dribble or in the post, or creating scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Sunnyslope would finish off Rancho Solano, 68-48 - advancing to the championship game of their tournament in front of a nice crowd at the school.
Sunnyslope will now face their new 5A rival in Deer Valley HS (3-0) in the championship game on Friday evening, in what should be an epic contest for the season, and a potential preview for the 5A state championship game this season. Deer Valley defeated a tough Liberty HS (2-1) team 74-57 in the other semi-final match-up on the evening.