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Desert Oasis’ Aguilera surprises himself, leads Sunset to win in senior all-star game

Desert Oasis’ Andrue Aguilera only had one thing on his mind prior to tipoff in the Senior All-Star basketball game on Tuesday: just relax and have fun.

The 6-foot-1-inch guard never even considered being the game’s leading scorer.

“Not with these guys,” he said with a smile.

Aguilera, much to his own surprise, came off the bench to lead five double-figure scorers with 17 points in the Sunset Region’s 103-85 win over the Sunrise Region at Foothill High.

“I think that’s the first time he’s led a team I’ve coached (in scoring),” said Desert Oasis coach Ryan Fretz, who manned the Sunset team with Durango’s DeShawn Henry. “Wow.”

Aguilera scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half to help the hot-shooting Sunset earn the wire-to-wire win.

“I’ve known these guys forever. We’ve always been friends and played pick-up ball somewhere around the city when it’s the offseason,” said Aguilera, who has committed to play at Grace University in Nebraska. “It’s always fun. We came out here and did our thing — hit shots and just had fun with it. It’s an all-star game, so you’re supposed to have fun and enjoy the time that you had.”

The Sunset wasted no time asserting its dominance. With all five of its starters being 6-3 or taller, the Sunset controlled the post early and grabbed a 31-8 lead with 14 minutes, 40 seconds to go in the first half.

That lead eventually became 61-36 at halftime.

“At practice last night, we said we were going to go with that (big) lineup,” Fretz said. “It got us the big 20-point lead. Where else can you say your shortest guy on the floor is 6-3? I don’t even think (Bishop) Gorman could have done that.”

Palo Verde’s Taylor Miller, a Southern Utah signee, was the team’s smallest starter. He had eight points, three rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots for the Sunset.

“It was a lot of fun,” Miller said. “A lot of us have been playing against each other for four years or longer. So it’s fun to play with some of those guys. It’s definitely good to get together one last time.”

Bonanza’s Jamal Logan came off the bench to score 13 points. He hit three of the Sunset’s 14 3-pointers.

“The other coach was talking about me shooting too close to the 3-point line so I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to shoot how I did in the season,’” said Logan, who also had three rebounds and three steals. “So I just stepped out a bit.”

The Sunset shot 53.2 percent from the field and went 14-for-31 (45.2 percent) on 3-pointers.

Centennial’s Jake Hutchings had 13 points and five rebounds for the Sunset. Durango’s Jason Landman (11 points) and Desert Oasis’ Aamondae Coleman (five points, four rebounds) — both Air Force commits — also contributed for the Sunset.

Canyon Springs’ Zaahib Muhammad and Eldorado’s Carmonte Jones led the Sunrise with 16 points apiece. Muhammad scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and delivered the game’s most exciting play with the game out of reach.

With 1:30 remaining, Muhammad riled up the crowd with a one-handed jam over the Sunset’s Michael Diggins.

“The previous play, (the Sunset’s) Chase (Ruiz) kind of hit it off the backboard so I said, ‘I can’t go in there like that again. I got to go for it,’” Muhammad said. “And I flushed it. … It felt great to play against all these people. It was fun getting out and playing against them.”

Valley’s Zachary Day added eight points and 10 rebounds, and Eldorado’s Carl Crayon scored 10 for the Sunrise.

“All of the boys out here are phenomenal basketball players,” Fretz said. “And this is a good thing we did for Las Vegas basketball. Winning is good, but just to see the camaraderie after the game and all the boys talking afterwards, it’s really what it is all about. That’s why I’m here.”

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