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Back-to-Back State Champions!

TWO-TIME STATE CHAMPIONS, The Pinnacle Lady Panthers. FRONT: Kimberly Scott, Rylie Birch, Monique Hullings, ShaeLynn Hughes. BACK ROW: Coach Heidi Kay, Ashia Andrews, Jordan Hamner, Julianne Price, Darrian Smith, Audrey Chavez, Haley Spigarelli and Assistant Coach Bailey Kay.

The USSA Girls State Basketball Tournament was held February 25-26, 2010, in Utah County. With their record of 12-0, the Lady Panthers entered the tournament as top seed and enjoyed quick success in their first game against Merit winning 56 to 23. Leading scorers were Darrian Smith with 15 points, Haley Spigarelli with 13 points and Audrey Chavez and Monique Hullings adding 9 points each. "This game was a good start to the tournament. It relaxed my girls, giving them the confidence that they needed to win," commented Coach Heidi Kay.

Following their initial victory, the Panthers' second game was a back-and-forth battle against Paradigm Academy with the Panthers eventually triumphing 34 to 32 earning them a spot in the championship game. The Lady Panthers were led by Darrian Smith with 13 points and Haley Spigarelli and Jordan Hamner each contributing 6 points. Coach Kay's response to this game? "Too close! This was the best game of the season for Pinnacle. It showed us that we can handle the pressure and that everyone on the team can step up and play their position and get us the points, rebounds or assists that we need to win."

The championship game pitted the Lady Panthers again against rival, Paradigm, with the Panthers taking charge late in the game besting Paradigm 33 to 26. Jordan Hamner led the team with 10 points, Darrian Smith had 8, and Haley Spigarelli 6. "The girls played a great third quarter holding Paradigm to only three points. By spreading the court, this allowed our guards to go one-on-one with their defenders resulting in our scoring almost every time we drove to the hoop, " stated Coach Kay.

Coach Heidi Kay, in her second season coaching varsity basketball, responded to her team's back-to-back state titles by saying that "winning the tournament for the second year in a row was amazing! The girls practiced hard so they played hard and it showed. It really was a team win. Every girl on the team did their job. Rebounding was incredible, they passed the ball when they needed and took the open shots to win the game. They all deserved the win."

The Lady Panthers team includes the USSA State Tournament MVP, Darrian Smith, who had 36 points in tournament play. Coach Heidi Kay also earned Coach of the Year honors for the second year in a row. This award is voted upon by her peers in the USSA league.

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