No. 4 Perry shook off a rusty start Thursday, overcoming an 11-0 deficit early in the first period to edge No. 5 Sunnyslope in the final minute, 54-49, in the Division I boys state basketball tournament at ASU's Wells Fargo Arena.
Perry advances to the state tournament semifinals for the first time in the school's brief history on Friday (Feb. 28). Perry faces fthe Corona del Sol-Mesa Mountain View winner at 7:45 p.m. at Wells Fargo. Senior forward Jake Mortensen made two free throws with 1:25 left to snap a 49-49 tie after the team's traded leads a couple times in the final two minutes. Freshman guard Markus Howard added three free throws in the final 37 seconds for the final margin. Howard netted a game-high 25 points, including nine in the fourth period.
Perry outscored Sunnyslope, 31-19, in the second half and 20-13 in the fourth period. Mortensen and Jordan Howard added nine points each for Perry (26-5). Sunnyslope got 18 points from Sammy Barnes-Thompkins — 15 in the first half. Barnes-Thompkins was the key to Sunnyslope's 11-0 getaway. Barnes-Thompkins batteld foul trouble in the second half and fouled out in the final two minutes. Sunnyslope's Stanford-bound center Michael Humphrey finished with 15 points.
PINNACLE 69, GILBERT 57: Dorian Pickens scored 36 points and led a third-quarter charge along with fellow senior Trey Ingram as No. 3 Pinnacle topped Gilbert at Wells Fargo Arena. It's the second year in a row Pinnacle eliminated Gilbert in the quarterfinals.
Pinnacle (22-9) advances to the semifinals to face the Hamilton-Dobson winner on Friday (Feb. 28) at 4:15 p.m at Wells Fargo Arena. It's the fourth year in a row Pinnacle has reached the semis or better. Gilbert finished up 21-7.
Pinnacle led 29-26 at halftime in a game tight the first 16 minutes. But Pickens and Ingram combined for Pinnacle's first 15 points of the third period, helping along a 12-0 run that broke the game open. Pickens scored 14 points in the third period and made 10 of his first 13 shots in the game. HIs final shooting numbers were 15 of 22 with 4 3s. Ingram provided 15 points, the only other Pinnacle player in double figures.
Gilbert was led by Spencer Nicolds and Anthony Bryant with 14 points apiece.