Perry boys win inaugural Open title

March 4, 2023 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Perry earned the honor of claiming the first boys Open Division trophy and banner after defeating Sunnyslope, 74-58, on Saturday night (Jose Garcia/azpreps photo)

Perry's boys basketball showcased invincibility in its five games in the inaugural Open Division championship. Much the same as it did during the regular season.

The top-seeded Pumas capped winning the Open Division on Saturday with a decisive first-half performance in a 74-58 victory over 10th-seeded Sunnyslope at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The win makes Perry (30-1) a back-to-back champion. Last year's championshop was of the 6A variety.  The Pumas finished the season with a 15-game winning streak. Their only loss was two months ago to Pinnacle by two points. Perry defeated Cienega, Pinnacle, Liberty, Desert Mountain to reach the title game. Sunnsylope knocked off Prescott, Campo Verde, St. Mary's and Basha for its Open berth.

Perry 6-foot-8 sophomore guard Koa Peat was the guiding light in the final, scoring a game-high 35 points. Peat netted 17 points in the first half and 18 in the second half. Peat connected on 13 of 18 field goals (no threes) and made 9 of 12 free throws. Senior Cody Williams also reached double figures, finishing with 15 points.

Sophomore D'Andre Harrison helped Perry to a marginal 30-25 rebounding edge. Harrison grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Rider Portela led Sunnyslope with 21 points and eight rebounds

Perry gradually pulled away from Sunnyslope after leading 16-10 after the first quarter. Sunnyslope, which never led, was tied 10-10 late in the first period and trailed 16-15 with 5:34 left in the second quarter. Over the next five minutes Perry pieced together a 20-3 run. The Pumas led 36-18 at halftime and their lead never dipped below 10 points the remainder of the game.