The Chandler Hamilton basketball team remained undefeated and improved to 7-0 by beating Scottsdale Desert Mountain 69-56 at home on Friday night in a Division I non-section game.
Hamilton got a huge break when Desert Mountain’s All-State point guard Rolando Rhymes missed the game due to an injury. Without Rhymes, Desert Mountain (3-3) got off to a slow start as Hamilton’s stingy defense forced six turnovers and took a 15-10 lead into the second quarter.
“I was glad with our intensity tonight and with the way we played defensively,” Hamilton Coach Kevin Hartwig said.
Hamilton scored the first eight points of the second quarter before Desert Mountain rallied and scored the last 11, including a half-court three by Gino Littles as time expired to only trail by two at the half.
The offense finally picked up for both teams in the second half. Deonte Harrington had a very strong game offensively, scoring 15 points with nine of those points coming in the third quarter. James Sosinski was a force all night in the post, scoring a team high 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
“He is just starting to get in shape from football,” Hartwig said. “We decided to go into a low-post offense to take advantage of his size and strength, and it paid off tonight for us.”
Sosinski threw down a hard dunk and converted on a tough three-point play late in the fourth quarter to seal up the win for Hamilton.
“We still have room to get better,” Hartwig said. “Some mental stuff to correct, but we will take it (undefeated start) and move on.”
Desert Mountain senior Will Goff single-handedly kept his team in the game scoring a game high 25 points, 23 of them in the second half, but Desert Mountain could not overcome the absence of Rhymes.