Div. IV boys basketball: Tempe Prep upsets No. 4 Grand Canyon

Div. IV boys basketball: Tempe Prep upsets No. 4 Grand Canyon

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Div. IV boys basketball: Tempe Prep upsets No. 4 Grand Canyon

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PRESCOTT VALLEY – Flagstaff Grand Canyon had the loftier rating.

Tempe Prep had the bigger bodies.

No. 20 Tempe Prep continued to assert itself as tournament giant killers after topping No. 4 Grand Canyon 54-40 in Saturday’s second-round play of the Division IV boys state basketball tournament at Tim’s Toyota Center.

Tempe Prep, which topped No. 13 Phoenix Christian Friday, advanced to Thursday’s 10:30 a.m. quarterfinal against No. 5 Kearny Ray, a 76-62 winner over No. 12 St. David.

Tempe Prep (16-11) hurt Grand Canyon (18-7) inside with its big guns, Sam Sprout and Gaspar Tonnesen throughout the game and opened up the game with an 11-4 run beginning at the end of the third quarter to pull off the upset.

“We saw on film that they were the same as us except they had one big guy and we had two,” Tempe Prep coach Johnathan Lambros said. “We had a guy to match their big guy and they had to go small against us and that made a huge different inside.”

Sprout finished with 18 points, and Tonnesen and Ryan Van Dusen had nine apiece. Anthony Brittain and Joseph Zwemke had eight apiece in Tempe Prep’s balanced attack.

Center Joey Bankston paced Grand Canyon with 15 points and teammate Ethan Berry had 13.

Sprout had six points in a tight first quarter as Tempe Prep held a 10-8 lead after one. Tonnesen scored six in the second as Grand Canyon took a 21-20 lead into the third.

Van Dusen hit a three-point shot midway through the third to open a 30-27 Tempe Prep lead on the way to a 37-32 Tempe Prep lead after three quarters.

Tempe Prep lowered the boom early in the fourth with Sprout dominating inside with six consecutive Tempe Prep points to open a 43-34 lead with 4:31 to play in the game.

Berry hit three consecutive free throws to trim the lead to 46-38 with 1:59 to play, but Tempe Prep went 8 for 9 from the free-throw line the rest of the way to ice the game.

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