Wasatch surges back to win column again, looking for bid to nationals
By Matt Harris
GRAND ISLAND, NE—In the midst of a historic season gone awry with ill-timed losses, Wasatch Academy boy’s hoops had one shot left to get a big statement win for the 2019 resume. And they did it. In style.
The Tigers notched a hugely meaningful victory, 65-53, over No. 8 Sunrise Christian Academy, Kans., in the feature event of the nationally-renown Heartland Hoops Classic, and with terrific efficiency to boot.
Wasatch Academy shot 54 percent from the field as a team on less than 50 attempts, and senior Marvin “Tre” Williams shot the lights out, leading his team in scoring with 19 points on 8-10 shooting. Junior forwards Caleb Lohner and Mady Sissoko scored 15 and 10 points, respectively, and Sissoko came one rebound shy of a double-double.
Dominating throughout the game, the Tigers led the Buffaloes by as much as 21 points at the end of the third quarter. Sunrise outscored Wasatch 2011 in the fourth, but didn’t get any closer.
“They came out ready to play,” Wasatch Academy Coach David Evans told local media. “It’s a little hard, I think, to play when we got up more than we anticipated. Then we started playing tight. But that’s a fantastic win for us. Sunrise is such a good team, so well coached, such good players. We’re excited about it.” Evans went on to call the game “one of the best wins we’ve had all year.”
The Tigers couldn’t have asked for a better debut in the Classic, topping a team that has been in it for three consecutive years.
The win certainly had an effect on national rankings. Monday’s new MaxPreps.com Xcellent 25 polled Wasatch Academy back in at No. 18. Computer rankings for MaxPreps moved the Tigers up to No. 14.
Biding their time to see if they will get invited to the GEICO Nationals for the fourth straight year, Wasatch finishes their regular season at home with a couple instate matchups, facing Jordan on Feb. 19 and Kearns on Feb. 20. Those teams are ranked No. 14 and 15 in Utah, respectively.