Size proves too much for Thunder in loss to Findlay Prep

Jalen Glapion, Sports Writer

Desert Vista put their undefeated season to the test in it’s big against the Findlay Prep Pilots in the Group Hall West tournament Saturday, Dec. 9 at Chaparral High School. Considered one of the best teams in the West, it would be the toughest challenge for DV this early in the season.

The Thunder, who have won all 5 of their games by double digits, put their skills against Findlay Prep,who have also started the season off playing very well with a 9-1 season so far. The Thunder had their work cut out for them by playing against a much bigger team with nine players standing six-foot four inches or over including two seven foot three players.

Tyrek Chambers started the game by knocking down a contested step back 3-pointer. The Pilots converted a mid range jump shot to match it shortly after, but then the Thunder took the lead back with a floater and another jump shot from Chambers which put the lead to 8-4. It didn’t take long for the Pilots to shift the momentum scoring 9 straight unanswered points hitting 6 points inside and a 3 pointer. DV had a tough start for 3 pointers only going 1-5 in the first quarter and were out rebounded by shear size. The ending of the first quarter was 9-15 with Findlay Prep containing full control.

The second quarter continued to go right for the Pilots extending their lead to double digits scoring nine more points to add on their total, putting the score to 9-24. Bol Bol and his team made their presence known with impactful defense with many shooting fouls and blocks. The Pilots continued to pound the paint inside with multiple mismatches at every position. Chambers showed his scoring ability knocking down another jump shot, but shortly after Bol Bol revealed his size by slamming down another dunk. The ending of the half was 15-33 with the Pilots charging away with the lead.

The second half began with a steal from the Thunder and a foul on the other end from Bol Bol on Wesley Harris in which both free throws were converted. The Pilots continued to score and play down low but DV continued to put up a fight. Chambers put his scoring on display scoring two more jump shots raising his scoring totals to 14. The Thunder continued to hustle but the Pilots stopped everything that was coming in the paint. With less than four minutes left in the 3rd quarter Christian Anigwe finished an and-1 dunk to give the Thunder three more points. Late into the 3rd quarter the DV decided to go even smaller into their lineup for scoring and pressure defense, this gave them an easier way to score with the Thunder hitting four straight three point jump shots in just two minutes, all coming from the corner, two from Isaiah Wilson, one from Aishwar Kumar, and one from Alijah Gammage brought an end the 3rd quarter at score of 41-57.  

The final quarter started off with an easy layup from E.J. Jackson. DV began to cut into the lead on the Pilots going back to their normal style of play of pressure defense, until the Pilots put a stop to that as well. With four minutes shy of the end of the game the Pilots dunked down a hard dunk to set the lead back to 20. DV then put on a highlight of their own performing an alley-oop dunk off the backboard from Isaiah Wilson to Wesley Harris and another dunk from Harris in the next possession. with less than two minutes remaining the Pilots’ very own Bol Bol had thrown down a fast break dunk effortlessly.

The game ended at a final score of 60-75 with the Pilots picking ip their 10th win of the season while handing the Thunder their first loss.