Scottsdale Chaparral did not let the intensity of a packed gym at Phoenix Pinnacle on senior night or the loss of a starter for the rest of the season stop it as Chaparral defeated Pinnacle 90-84 Friday night.
Chaparral (19-7, 8-4 Division I, Section III) came into the game without junior starting power forward Ryan Bayster, who tore his ACL and meniscus going up for a shot against Desert Vista on Wednesday. Bayster was averaging 9.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game for Chaparral.
The game started out going back and forth, with both teams trading scores, but Chaparral was able to take a 17-14 lead after the first quarter.
Pinnacle senior shooting guard Dorian Pickens started off slow, but heated up in the second quarter, and by the end of the half, he had registered 18 points for Pinnacle.
Pickens was paced in the first half by senior point guard Trey Ingram, who registered 15 points of his own to help Pinnacle erase the three-point first-quarter deficit and take a 42-38 lead to halftime.
Pickens came out hot in the second half, but Chaparral junior forward Luke Johnson may have come out even hotter.
After being fairly quiet for the first half, Johnson started hitting three after three to give Chaparral the lead at the end of the third, 65-61.
Pickens and Ingram would remain the central parts of the offense for Pinnacle’s (18-8, 8-2) offense in the fourth quarter, as Pickens, a Stanford recruit, would end the game with 40 points and Ingram would return from a silent third quarter to score seven and end the game with 22.
Junior forward Ben Wahlberg, who had 10 points, helped the pair, but in the end it was not enough to get by Chaparral, who had four players in double figures.
Johnson (18), junior point guard Brandon Hoffer (17), junior shooting guard Kenzo Nudo (22), and senior guard Shane Cooper (12) led Chaparral to the upset victory.
Hoffer felt that this game was big heading into the playoffs, which are now firmly in their grasp.
“(This victory is) going to be an energy builder going into the playoffs, give us some momentum.”
Chaparral coach Dan Peterson noticed one thing in particular that stood out from tonight’s victory.
“It shows our guys fight,” Peterson said. “They fight hard and they got a lot of heart. They came out and gave me all the effort in the world I could have asked for. All we want to do is be in a position to be successful and to compete, and you know what? It showed tonight what type of culture that we’re building here.”