On Thursday, January 19th I attended the 6A Sunnyslope Vikings hosting the 6A Liberty Lions. There were two top-10 teams in 6A. Davis Hester Davis Hester 6'0" | SG Liberty | 2023 State AZ was unfortunately not available for the varsity game with…
On Thursday, January 19th I attended the 6A Sunnyslope Vikings hosting the 6A Liberty Lions. There were two top-10 teams in 6A. Davis Hester Davis Hester 6'0" | SG Liberty | 2023 State AZ was unfortunately not available for the varsity game with an injury and it clearly showed up.
The Vikings started hot and led 20-12 after the first quarter. The Lions made a mini run and cut the gap. Vikings still led 26-24 at halftime. The 3rd quarter is where the Vikings took control. They led 50-38 heading into the 4th. They coasted most of the fourth as the Lions cut it to only 6 the closest. Sunnyslope won it 61-52.
Here were the varsity standouts
John Mattingly John Mattingly 5'11" | PG Sunnyslope | 2026 State AZ Sunnyslope (Pictured left)
A highly skilled point guard with an off the charts IQ. He can drive and kick with his left or right hand. He smartly changes speeds really well and will hesi to get to the basket. He will score a variety of ways with back door layups, pull-ups from mid-range and catch threes. His three ball is consistent and he is currently their most polished scorer.
Rider Portela Rider Portela 6'4" | SG Sunnyslope | 2026 State AZ Sunnyslope (Pictured right)
A good sized scoring guard can catch and shoot from the three point line. He rattled in three deep balls and takes unusually long strides to get to the basket. He can score on contested layups with either hand using his athleticism. He uses his length to collects steals and he is a very good rebounder using his size. He made two clutch free throws to ice it.
Jai Anthoni Bearden Jai Anthoni Bearden 6'6" | PF Sunnyslope | 2024 State AZ Sunnyslope
A long athletic forward is a live body. He can rip thru and score it and will rebound in his area plus block shots. He is a quick second, third and fourth jumper to keep plays alive on the glass and is a sneaky good passer.
Cooper Cirone Cooper Cirone 5'11" | PG Sunnyslope | 2023 State AZ Sunnyslope
A pure point guard runs the offense and is always looking up. He can hit the catch three with space and time. He has an unorthodox shooting release but makes perimeter shots fairly consistently. He has a deceptive burst to score in traffic and will score on offensive rebound put backs.
Cristian Simmons Cristian Simmons 6'7" | PF Sunnyslope | 2026 State AZ Sunnyslope
The teams post player is very strong and patient. He can score on hook shots and he can face up to the three point line. He will take charges and brings toughness to the court. He also is a very good passer for a post player and outlets the ball well and passes out of a double team.
Dom Rojas Dom Rojas 5'6" | PG Sunnyslope | 2026 State AZ Sunnyslope
An undersized scoring lead guard is skilled, gritty and fearless. He has a quick first step to blow past his defenders, which he did multiple times. He also is a tough, hard nose defender. He gets in your grill and plays about as hard as you can.
Beau Hartman PG 6’0 2024 Sunnyslope
A strong framed point guard has decent size and toughness. He has nice court vision and can catch and shoot it from the stripe. He hit a deep one at the buzzer of the 3rd quarter to give them a nice cushion.
Ring Nyeri Ring Nyeri 6'8" | PF Liberty | 2024 State AZ Liberty
A long, quick twitched power forward. He is a fluid mover and an out of area rebounder. He has sticky hands to board and score on put backs. He gets himself to the line and his defense is next level. He closes out to shooters and will block shots at a good clip. Once he gets stronger, he will go to another level.
Ky Green Ky Green 6'6" | SF Liberty | 2023 State AZ Liberty
An athletic forward is a tough defender from inside and out. He will block shots in and out of his area using his explosive athleticism and size. He can hit the catch three, he has the runner in traffic and is a stud in transition. He does not put the ball on the deck very much but can take two dribbles to get close to the rim with long strides.
Caden Hunter Caden Hunter 6'5" | PF Liberty | 2023 State AZ Liberty
A physical forward scored it from inside and out. He manages to get himself to the line often and cashed in with 6-7 from the charity stripe. He will rip thru versus contact, post up with either hand and shoot the three with a quick release. He can also fall away from his defender and plays with an incredible motor.
Nick Zambito Nick Zambito 5'10" | PG Liberty | 2023 State AZ Liberty
A physical lead guard can dime his teammates up the court. He has a polished floater and will drive baseline to score. He can dribble drive and get into the paint and score versus opposing guards with his strong upper body. Him and Hunter showed their senior toughness versus a strong Vikings team.