No. 4 Perry shook off a rusty start Thursday, overcoming an 11-0 deficit early in the first period to edge No. 5 Sunnyslope in the final minute, 54-49, in the Division I boys state basketball tournament at ASU's Wells Fargo Arena.
Perry advances to the state tournament semifinals for the first time in the school's brief history on Friday (Feb. 28). Perry faces Corona del Sol at 7:45 p.m. at Wells Fargo. Senior forward Jake Mortensen made two free throws with 1:25 left to snap a 49-49 tie after the team's traded leads a couple times in the final two minutes. Freshman guard Markus Howard added three free throws in the final 37 seconds for the final margin. Howard netted a game-high 25 points, including nine in the fourth period.
Perry outscored Sunnyslope, 31-19, in the second half and 20-13 in the fourth period. Mortensen and Jordan Howard added nine points each for Perry (26-5). Sunnyslope got 18 points from Sammy Barnes-Thompkins -- 15 in the first half. Barnes-Thompkins was the key to Sunnyslope's 11-0 getaway. Barnes-Thompkins batteld foul trouble in the second half and fouled out in the final two minutes. Sunnyslope's Stanford-bound center Michael Humphrey finished with 15 points.
PINNACLE 69, GILBERT 57: Dorian Pickens scored 36 points and led a third-quarter charge along with fellow senior Trey Ingram as No. 3 Pinnacle topped Gilbert at Wells Fargo Arena. It's the second year in a row Pinnacle eliminated Gilbert in the quarterfinals.
Pinnacle (22-9) advances to the semifinals to face Dobson, a 58-38 winner over Hamilton, on Friday (Feb. 28) at 4:15 p.m at Wells Fargo Arena. It's the fourth year in a row Pinnacle has reached the semis or better. Gilbert finished up 21-7.
Pinnacle led 29-26 at halftime in a game tight the first 16 minutes. But Pickens and Ingram combined for Pinnacle's first 15 points of the third period, helping along a 12-0 run that broke the game open. Pickens scored 14 points in the third period and made 10 of his first 13 shots in the game. HIs final shooting numbers were 15 of 22 with 4 3s. Ingram provided 15 points, the only other Pinnacle player in double figures.
Gilbert was led by Spencer Nicolds and Anthony Bryant with 14 points apiece.
DOBSON 58, HAMILTON 38: An early helping of 3-point shooting started No. 2 Dobson (24-7) on its way to a rout of No. 7 Hamilton at Wells Fargo Arena. It means a third trip to the semifinals for Dobson in school history. The other seasons were 2000-2001 (loss to Brophy) and 2004-2005 (loss to St. Mary's). Hamilton finished the season 24-4.
Dobson, shooting just under 45 percent for the season from 3-point range, made 4 of 6 in the opening quarter to build a 16-8 advantage. Ryan Richardson led Dobson with 23 points and connected on 5 3s in the game. Kodi Justice added 13 points, 11 in the second half. Dobson made 9 of 22 3s for the game (40 percent).
Dobson extended its lead to 30-14 at halftime and led 47-31 after three period. Hamilton shot just 22 percent the first half and didn''t improve nearly enough in the second half to make a run at Dobson. Dobson has won 17 of its last 18 games under coach Rick McConnell now in his 30th year as Dobson's head coach. Dobson faces Pinnacle in the semis for the third time this season.
Hamilton was led by James Sosinski with eight points and Zach Evans and Deonte Harrington with seven points apiece.
CORONA DEL SOL 71, MOUNTAIN VIEW 54: Top-seed Corona del Sol (31-1) completed the run of top seeds reaching the semifinals, jumping on No. 9 Mountain View quickly to eliminate the Toros. The 1-2-3 and 4 seeds all advanced to the final four. Corona faces Perry on Friday (Feb. 28) in the 7:45 p.m. semi at Wells Fargo.
Corona posted five players in double figures and was able to forge a double-digit lead from late in the first period to the final buzzer. Keying the early breakout was Corona's transition game, which benefitted Jarrett Givens often in the first half and Russ Davis in the second. They are not the Aztecs' household names, but they've played roles as the fourth and fifth starters quite well all season while the names Casey Benson, Dane Kuiper and Connor MacDougall get the bulk of the ink.
Davis led Corona with 18 points. Davis made a couple perimeter shots, some layups in transition and crashed the boards for putbacks. Givens finished with 12 while Benson, Kuiper and MacDougall notched 11 points each. Corona shot 50 percent from the field in the opening half, but with six or seven transition buckets among the 14 it made that percentage wasn't shocking.
Mountain View (20-7) had little offense other than guard Austin Denham much of the first three quarters. Denham scored a game-hig 22 points. Denham tallied 19 through three quarters. Leading scorer Payton Dastrup had a tough first three quarters, limited to three points in that span. He finished with 10. Andy Sessions added 12 points - 10 in the second half.