Panther MJ Taberna floats one in in the 67-47 win over Mount Vernon on Friday night, Pinnacle's first victory of the season and their first as a 1A school.
The Pinnacle Academy boys and girls basketball programs are on a learning curve. After years of dominating the Utah High School conference of small schools, PCA made the jump into the Utah High Schools Activities Association (UHSAA) as a 1A school. Both coaches admit it has been a change as the athletes adjust to the speed and tempo of their new competition.
On Friday, the boys posted their first win of the season as they defeated Mount Vernon 67-47 in front of a home town crowd. The Panthers had come off a 73-71 fourth quarter loss to Altamont just last week.
In the loss to Altamont, the Panthers had led almost the entire game before a couple of players fouled out. PCA was short handed because Jake Hardy was out with a broken hand and the team saw their lead slip away.
On Friday night it was Mount Vernon who jumped out hot and opened a lead through the first quarter. But the Panthers began to find their rhythm and slowly over took on their opponent. In the second half of play it was all PCA as they pulled away for their first victory of the season.
Barry Hamilton put up a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Jullinn Garcia led the Panthers with 19 points. MJ Taberna and Demetri Hullings each added 13.
The girls team is also improving. After losing 51-29 to Grand and then 66-44 to Tabiona, they gave Tinic a run before falling short 38-30.
Both teams will have home games in the next weeks. The boys will take on Salt Lake Lutheran on Dec. 22 at 7:00 and the girls will face Grand on Dec. 29 and Tabiona on Dec.