Barry Hamilton throws down a thunderous dunk during the first half in Pinnacle's 66-47 win over Dugway on Tuesday night.
Panthers post 66-47 win in final non-region game
In their final tune-up before continuing Region 19 play, the Pinnacle High Panthers wanted to get out on the court and put together a complete game. Aside from a few mistakes, Pinnacle did just that as they defeated Dugway 66-47 on Tuesday night at the Pinnacle High School gymnasium.
The Panthers wasted no time getting out on the fast break in the first half as they traded baskets with Dugway in the opening minutes of the game. However, thanks to some defensive pressure and a hot shooting effort, PHS was able to jump out to an early lead and never looked back.
"We made a lot of shots at the start of the game which really gave us a lot of confidence," said PHS head coach Andrew Olson after the win.
On a number of possessions, Dugway's defense left open Pinnacle players providing opportunities for open shots for players including Jake Hardy, MJ Taberna, Javanni Alzayyat and Jackson Nichols. And when the ball wasn't falling in the basket, Pinnacle's big man Barry Hamilton was battling down low for one of his game-high 13 rebounds.
The offensive effort allowed PHS to increase its lead to 20 points by halftime at 43-23.
Hamilton, a 6-foot 3-inch forward, provided a spark on both sides of the ball. On defense, Hamilton played an important role when the team employed their 1-3-1 zone designed to confuse the opposing team's offense. With his long wingspan at the top of the key, Hamilton was able to help stop penetration and made it difficult for Dugway's guards to pass around the top of the key.
"Barry's wingspan at the top of the zone really makes it hard for other teams guards to pass the ball," explained Olson.
While PHS had a number of fast break opportunities, none were bigger than when Hamilton was left all alone for an emphatic dunk, energizing the team and the home crowd.
Coming out of halftime with a large lead, PHS cooled down in the second half as they had some difficulty regaining the momentum they displayed throughout the first half. Turnovers and missed chances at the basket were some of the reasons for Pinnacle's lead being cut down to 11 late in the third quarter.
While the offense may have slowed a little in the second half, PHS continued to keep Dugway off balance with a mixture of a 1-3-1 zone and man-to-man defenses.
Olson said his team struggled coming out of halftimes over the course of the season which has helped lead to some of the team's three losses during the season.
"We need to come out of halftime better. We were a little lazy with the ball and we still need to work on knowing when to slow things down offensively," he said.
Olson said he was pleased with the effort of the team as they got out of the gates quickly and established a rhythm. He noted the rebounding effort of the team, including Hardy and Hamilton, who each finished with double digits in rebounds.
"Our goal was to hold them (Dugway) under 50 points and we did that tonight," he said.
Hardy led all PHS players with 21 points. Hamilton added 15 points and a team-high five steals. Alzayyat had 12 points and Nichols added six points on two three-pointers.
Sammy Peterson led Dugway with 13 points.
Since losing to Milford 54-46 on Dec. 29, PHS has won two games in a row heading back into Region 19 play. Olson said he thinks the team is heading into region play with more confidence after the wins.
"We' re 7-3 right now, so overall I'm pleased with our effort so far," he said.
PHS will next play Green River on Friday at 7 p.m. at the PHS gym.