Twice As Nice: Pinnacle Goes Back-To-Back

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.

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.

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.

Chaparral was led in scoring by Alem Huseinovic’s 18. Alec Bryan had 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.