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Pinnacle defeats Green River after trailing through three quarters

By Sierra Trujillo

In front of one of the largest crowds of the season, the Pinnacle High School boys’ basketball team defeated one of its biggest rivals, Green River High School, for the second time this season on Tuesday night. The game came down to the final minutes, even seconds, before Pinnacle was able to pull slightly ahead.
With just one slim second remaining in the game, Green River had brought the score within two points of the Panthers’ lead, then called a time-out. After the short break, Pinnacle inbounded the ball clear across the court, missing all players’ reaches. Kaden Daughters saved the ball just before going out of bounds to start the time, and the one second expired to give the Panthers the 52-50 victory.
“That was the smartest play of the game,” said Pinnacle head coach Eric Hansen of Daughters saving the ball.
The Panthers had trailed throughout the first three quarters of the game, struggling to make what should be easy lay-ups and free throw shots. However, a run of three-point baskets to start the fourth quarter, two by Daughters and one by Val Acosta, tied the game at 34.
“That momentum gets us going into the fourth quarter and that’s what won the game I think, that and the mental toughness of the boys, they were mentally tough tonight,” said Hansen.
A back and forth battle ensued from there, but the Panthers used their new momentum to build up a five-point lead with one minute remaining. Despite Green River also sinking a few key shots, the Panthers were able to notch the win.
“That’s a good Green River team and they’re young too,” said Hansen. “I’m really excited to play them in the future because that’s going to be a very good game.”
Acosta led the Panthers with a stellar 25 points in the game, including three three-pointers throughout the night. Daughters tallied 16 points of his own, including the two three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help tie the game.
“We had some leaders step up. Val stepped up, Kaden stepped up… the whole team stepped up,” said Hansen. “It was definitely a team effort, it wasn’t just one player, but there was a lot of smart plays.”
The Panthers are currently sitting in third place in the Region 19 standings after the victory over Green River. Pinnacle will host Monument Valley High School on Saturday, in what Hansen called a must-win game, and also happens to be Senior Night.
The Pinnacle boys’ basketball game is slated for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, following the girls’ team, which plays at 2 p.m.

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