The boys basketball team from Peoria Sunrise Mountain was cruising right along with eight straight victories before being derailed by a loss to Goodyear Desert Edge on Tuesday (Jan. 28).
“It woke us up, got our attention. We had two really good practices after that and I had a feeling we would come out tonight (Friday Jan. 31) and play well,’’ said Sunrise Mountain coach Jason Pasinski.
He was right. The Mustangs came out with quickness and intensity and had an accurate long-range shooting touch, earning a 64-48 victory over visiting Buckeye Youngker in a Division II contest.
Sunrise Mountain raised its record to 18-4, while Youngker slipped to 17-10.
Senior Dallas Litschler, Sunrise Mountain’s inside presence, was very active at both ends of the floor and led his team with 20 points.
Eldar Borovac scored 14 for the Mustangs and promising sophomore forward Elijah Thomas scored 10, including a thunderous jam off a long lob pass to start the third quarter. The home crowd, already operating at a high decibel level, turned up the volume even more.
“Dallas had a really strong game,’’ Pasinski said. “His offense is starting to come around and he’s playing very well in the middle.’’
Junior guard Tristan Horn provided a boost with three 3-pointers. Sunrise Mountain had seven on the night. He had not seen a lot of playing time, but had been “waiting his turn,’’ according to Pasinski.
Senior Unyime Ekpoh recently suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, forcing Sunrise Mountain to go with what Pasinski called “point guard by committee.’’
“It is something we’re going to have to get used to and work through,’’ Pasinski said.
Youngker also used 3-point shooting to try and stay in the game, making seven. Justin Dominguez did his part to keep the Roughriders afloat, hitting four long shots and finishing with 14 points.