There’s an old adage in sports that says it’s tough to beat a team three times in one season. Well, no one told the Pinnacle Pioneers who used late second-half surge and pulled away from the Chaparral Firebirds 83-64 Tuesday night in the Boys 6A Championship Game at Wells Fargo Arena.
— Pinnacle Basketball (@PinnacleBball) February 27, 2019
The game went back and forth in the first half with each team essentially trading baskets as the Pioneers held a slim three-point lead going into intermission.
The contest stayed close until late in the third quarter after a thunderous Nico Mannion dunk seemed to jumpstart PHS at both ends of the floor.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) February 27, 2019
Pinnacle was able to force turnovers which led to transition baskets and open looks for their bevy of perimeter sharp-shooters.
After shooting just 39% in the first half, Charlie Wilde’s squad scorched the nets at a 55% clip in the second half, extending the lead to double digits and coasting to their second consecutive 6A title.
The guard-heavy ‘Neers were once again paced by veteran seniors Mannion (34 points, eight rebounds, seven steals) and Trent Brown (13 points, seven assists, five steals) but also got a big boost from junior backcourt mate Marcus Libman who helped spread the floor with five three-pointers. The star wide receiver on the PHS football team also chipped in five rebounds and three steals.
Marcus Libman at the buzzer! Pinnacle leads Chaparral 57-51 heading into the final quarter of the 6A title game. pic.twitter.com/8d7TbOVm2e
— Ralph Amsden (@ralphamsden) February 27, 2019
Chaparral was led in scoring by Alem Huseinovic’s 18. Alec Bryan had 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.