Sunrise Mountain wins first girls’ basketball title

Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor

When Mackenzie Dunham walked onto the floor for the start of the third quarter, she knew Sunrise Mountain’s championship hopes hinged on her. Only they didn’t hinge on her shot-making or rebounding or defense. They hinged, instead, on her ability to not foul.

That’s an uncomfortable place for any high schooler to be, much less one as dependent on strength and aggression as Dunham. Her 5A-best 13.3 rebounds per game, after all, don’t come by accident.

But in Friday night’s 5A championship game against Canyon View, Dunham delivered. After picking up three fouls in the first five minutes of the game, she avoided a fourth until deep into the fourth quarter. The critical fifth whistle never came. What did come, for Dunham and Sunrise Mountain, was a first state championship in school history, on the back of a 52-47 win that served as redemption for a senior class that began their careers with a loss on this very stage.

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