The Sun Valley men’s basketball team won 69-60 on Friday, in a tightly contested game at home against Union Academy. The game was close down to the final seconds, despite Sun Valley’s ability to outscore the Cardinals in all but the fourth quarter. While both teams played with unwavering intensity, it was Sun Valley’s ball handling and long-range consistency that would make the difference in the end.
Shot consistency came at the hands of several players on Friday, but none more so than Sun Valley’s top scorer, senior point guard Justin Morton. His ability to make important shots, at key moments in the game, kept the Spartans’ momentum alive throughout the entire night. Morton scored 22 points against the Cardinals, with 12 of those coming from beyond the three-point line. He shot 67% on the night, and 100% from beyond the arc. Morton also added to the Spartans’ confidence throughout the game at the free throw line, making six out of eight attempts.
Union Academy battled throughout the night, but they were unable to execute their comeback game plan. Late in the fourth, and down by less than 10, the Cardinals attempted to employ intentional fouls to gain possession. Sun Valley was well prepared, however, to thwart the Cardinals’ attempts to stop the game clock. The Spartans pulled the rebound off of several of their own missed free throw attempts, adding to their impressive rebounding totals on the night. Particularly impressive was the rebounding showcase of senior Spartan forward Malachi Clyburn, who raked in nine rebounds for the game. Clyburn was an all around asset for Sun Valley on Friday, with a three-pointer, three assists, a block and three steals.
The Spartans are 1-1 on the season with Friday’s victory over Union Academy. They will play Fort Mill, Nation Ford and Catawba Ridge this week in non-conference matchups. Their first conference game will be in early December against Cuthbertson.