6 Things to Look for in the Sunnyside vs Davis District Championship
Every time Davis and Sunnyside match-up, we say the same thing: this one's for all the marbles.
The first match-up was between undefeated teams, the second was for the Big Nine regular season crown, and part three will be for the district championship.
With a match-up between such illustrious teams, there is no end to the storylines on and off the court.
Can Sunnyside Slow Down Collin Kelley?
Kelley has been a thorn in Sunnyside every time they've played. It hasn't mattered how well Sunnyside has performed, Kelley is always there to be the separator.
In the first match-up, Kelley had 28 points, 15 rebounds, and six blocks. In the second game he had 21 points and 15 rebounds. In both games he delivered arena-shaking dunks.
Kelley isn't the type of player you're going to stop. So what can Sunnyside do to slow him down?
"We know he gets gets a lot of rebounds, which means a lot of second chance opportunities. We want to get the ball in our hands going the other way," said Sunnyside guard Art Palacios.
How Sunnyside matches up against Collin Kelley is something to keep a close eye on.
How will Davis Limit Sunnyside's Backcourt?
A big story coming out of Davis' semi-finals win over Wenatchee was the health of starting guard Brock Williams.
In the second half he fell on his ankle, and had to be taken out for the rest of the game.
Brock Williams was coming off a season high scoring night, with 17 points, including 5 three-pointers.
But perhaps what he is best known for is his defensive prowess. Against a team like Sunnyside that boasts arguably the best backcourt in the conference, it's imperative Williams is on point.
"I had to come out because it kind of hurt to walk, so I went to the training room and got it taped. I should be ready to go for the championship however," said Brock following the win.
Sunnyside's Art Palacios and Trey Sanchez are deadly when they're firing, so the health of Williams is something to monitor.
Will Sunnyside get off to a fast start?
Sunnyside has pulled of some incredible comebacks in their first two match-ups, that fell just short.
In the first game, they were down 17 points in the second quarter, only to pull within 1 with a minute left.
In the second game they were down 27-15 at halftime, only to take a two point lead in the fourth quarter.
Both games they lost.
The slow starts is something Sunnyside's Coach Bruce Siebol has no problem acknowledging.
"I've talked to my guys about how we have to get off to a better start against Davis," said Coach Siebol, "It seems like we're always playing against the headwind when we play them, so it'd be nice to get off to a lead."
Especially because Sunnyside is returning to Davis High, it should be high priority to get out of the gates smoking.
Which fanbase is going to show up?
Could it be discouraging to the Sunnyside fanbase that they've lost the first two games against Davis?
Most likely not, Especially when you're 19-2. If anything, it will be added motivation.
"Our fans have no idea how much the help us. Anytime we need an extra energy burst, our fans get us in the game," Art Palacios said.
The bottom line is, Sunnyside will to need their fans to show up in a big way.
Who will be the unlikely hero?
Anytime a championship is on the line, heroes have to emerge. And it's usually not the guy you expect.
The four biggest names in this game are Collin Kelley and Zander Delgado for Davis, and Art Palacios and Trey Sanchez for Sunnyside.
There's a good chance none of those guys are going to be the difference-maker.
A player to look out for on Davis would be Jose Reyes. The 5-11 freshman guard is a cornerstone piece for Davis, and may see his "coming out" moment sooner than later.
For Sunnyside, Gus Contreras Jr. may be the X-factor. The 6-5 senior big man will be tasked with defending the brunt of Collin Kelley's offense under the glass.
Is one team more hungry?
Davis is a rare team that is incapable of taking a night off. The word "trap game" is not in their vocabulary.
"We're hyped before every game! We're just ready to eat and compete at state, we're hyped. Like let's go man, we're ready," said a passionate Jose Reyes on Davis team morale.
But if there was ever a night for Sunnyside to play with their hair on fire, this is the night.
A win would send ripples across the state.
Sunnyside is a team right on the brink of breaking into the mainstream of 4A high school basketball.
A win over a highly-established Davis team would command respect.
Tip-off for tonight's primetime district championship is set for 6pm at Davis High School. A tip would be to get their early, as the game is projected to be packed to the rafters.