Coming into the 2012-13 season, everyone knew that Pinnacle had two stars returning in senior Drew Bender and junior Dorian Pickens. But it would be how the supporting cast of this young team that would decide the success of this team.
Back in December, Bender sustained an ankle injury while the team played in a tournament in Las Vegas. Bender missed a couple games in Vegas but for the most part, had played hobbled for the rest of the season and rarely practiced. With Bender not at 100%, it gave the opportunity for junior point guard Trey Ingram to take the ball and step up for his team. Well he has done that and then some, and now Pinnacle is one of the hottest teams in the state.
“Drew is a big part of the team so I had to step up for him,” said Ingram after his Pioneers knocked off Gilbert Tuesday to advance to the semi-finals. “Just knock down my shots when they are open, get everybody else involved when needed to and step up big.”
“Ever since Drew went down back in December, he has really gotten more and more confidence every time, every game, every practice without Drew.” added Pinnacle head coach Charlie Wilde. “Then when Drew came back, he unbelievably he worked with Drew and kept that confidence going.”
The Pinnacle coaching staff knew when Ingram first came to the school that he had potential. He is a good ball handler and it also helps that both his parents were athletes. His Mother a Division I golfer and his Father played baseball at the University of Arizona and spent some time in the minor leagues.
Having athleticism in his blood, Ingram is thriving in Pinnacle’s fast paced, up-tempo style of play. It is something Ingram prefers and allows him to get into a comfort zone on the floor.
“It suits my style a lot,” explained Ingram. “I like to get out and go and pass the ball. It’s just an uptempo game, puts points up on the board and it’s what people like to see.”
“Now he knows that he is going to get it (the basketball) back so he loves that style so he is really pushing the ball up well for us right now,” Wilde mentioned.
Ingram not only has gained the confidence in himself and in his game, he also has it from his teammates. Bender is still battling the ankle since re-injuring it before the start of the playoffs so it is still up to Ingram to have the ball in his hands a lot, make plays and create for others while keeping that up-tempo pace.
The trait that has allowed Ingram to take on this role is leadership.
“Trying to get everybody hyped and everybody involved and to just make sure we know what we are doing,” said Ingram. “Just being a leader out there really.”