Sunrise Christian Academy made history at the Metro Classic on Saturday night, beating IMG Academy to win the inaugural NIBC championship.
Sunrise Christian Academy completed conference play with a 9-1 record after beating IMG Academy 57-52. The Ascenders, who took on Sunrise Christian without Alabama signee Jaden Bradley due to a broken toe, finished 7-3 in the NIBC. Two of their losses came to Sunrise Christian.
IMG Academy jumped out to an early lead over Sunrise Christian and led at halftime. Sunrise Christian came out of halftime on fire, as Kansas signee Gradey Dick and four-star junior Layden Blocker sparked a 9-0 run with a pair of three-pointers to cut IMG Academy’s lead to 34-33. Sunrise Christian ramped up the defensive intensity during its run, drawing a pair of charges to turn the tide.
Houston signee Jarace Walker responded to Sunrise Christian’s run with consecutive scores, but Sunrise Christian ripped off a 13-0 run in return to take the lead heading into the fourth quarter. Sunrise Christian’s second big run featured a three from Dick and an additional triple from four-star junior Scotty Middleton.
IMG Academy strung together a 10-2 run to tie the score at 48 in the final minutes. Duke signee Mark Mitchell broke a 52-all tie with a three from the corner before Blocker clinched the game — and a conference championship — for Sunrise Christian with a floater with 23 seconds remaining.
Dick finished with 16 points on an inefficient 5-18 shooting, while Blocker added 13 points and Middleton poured in 10. Walker starred for IMG Academy with a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double.