Hard work, effort pushes PHS to first win
Sanchez's game-high 22 points and team defense combine to shut down West Ridge
In their first two games, the second quarter had proven to be quite a puzzle for the Pinnacle High boys basketball team.
On Tuesday night, the Panthers seemed to have found the pieces needed to complete the puzzle.
Pinnacle put together a complete game effort as the Panthers used a 19-8 in the second quarter to defeat West Ridge 64-52 on Tuesday evening at home.
"I thought we played with a lot more energy tonight than we have in our other games which was great," said PHS head coach Cameron Gardner.
Trailing 12-11 heading into the second quarter, the Panthers used a combination of outside shooting from Levi Rutherford, an inside scoring presence from Cody Dean Sanchez and a strong pressing defense that forced West Ridge into a number of turnovers leading to baskets for the Panthers.
The result was a 19-8 run that helped give Pinnacle a 30-20 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, Sanchez began to take over as teammates were able to drive the lane and draw defenders to them, leaving Sanchez open in the post. Sanchez took advantage scoring a handful of baskets that led to his game-high 22 points.
"Cody had a huge game for us against a tough team," said Gardner. "He took a charge, got rebounds and made some big baskets for us."
West Ridge made things interesting as they went on a 9-0 run late in the third quarter which carried over into the beginning of the fourth to cut the lead to five points.
However the Panthers clamped down on defense and converted opportunities on offense in the fourth quarter outscoring West Ridge 18-11 to secure the win.
"We came out ready to play tonight and we really played together as a team," said senior point guard Jackson Nichols.
Nichols said the Panthers knew West Ridge had a high scoring offense including two players averaging over 25 points per game. The Panthers held Luke Evans and Alec Metzger to 16 points each.
"We knew they had two good scorers coming into the game. We wanted to hold them from scoring their averages and we did that tonight," Nichols explained.
With their first win, the Panthers are now 1-2 on the season. The team will travel to Wendover on Dec. 12 before they host Dugway in a home game on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m.