Bowman, Bender, big fourth quarter carry Pinnacle past pesky Hamilton - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Bowman, Bender, big fourth quarter carry Pinnacle past pesky Hamilton

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Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 10:04 pm | Updated: 11:44 pm, Sat Feb 18, 2012.

The scouting report proved pretty useless.

Hamilton knew it had a multitude of weapons to deal with in Pinnacle, that's how the Pioneers earned the No. 2 seed in the Division I boys basketball state tournament.

Among them was Kevin Bowman, a sharp-shooting Pinnacle senior. The plan was to make him put the ball on the floor in order to score.

So he obliged and scored, early and late. Then he hit a couple outside jumpers, and the 15th-seeded Huskies couldn't keep up down the stretch as Pinnacle advanced to the quarterfinals with a 65-57 victory on Saturday night.

The Pioneers will face upstart-Perry on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Arizona State, the third of three Division I quarterfinal games.

"A couple guys came up big and we needed it," Pinnacle coach Charlie Wilde said.

A night heavy on turnovers and cold shooting - especially in the first half - warmed up after halftime, but, despite Pinnacle's size and versatility, Hamilton refused to relent until midway through the fourth quarter.

Pinnacle led nearly the whole night, but twice the Huskies cut the deficit to one point, and was within reach until Bowman and Drew Bender emerged.

Bowman was one of the few steady offensive players for either team through three quarters with penetration and free throws.

That changed in the fourth, when he a hit a 3-pointer from one corner, then hit another 3-pointer from the opposite corner when the Huskies tried to press defensively.

"We had to take a few chances and didn't rotate quick enough a couple times, and they have guys who can shoot," Harwick said.

Bowman made a circus scoop shot for a three-point play, and hit two more free throws to finish with 22 points, 16 in the second half.

"They have a lot of weapons," Huskies coach Kevin Hartwig said. "...He's a tough matchup."

Bender scored eight in the fourth quarter (17 points overall) while Dorian Pickens eight of his 12 points after halftime.

The Pioneers needed almost every one of them. Trailing 25-19 at intermission, Hamilton tied the score briefly on a jumper by Nate Walker (14 points) and both teams loosened up the rims and quickened the pace considerably from that point forward.

"We looked like we were in a rush too many times, but we settled down a bit (in the second half)," Wilde said.

Walker and Eric Bryan carried the load offensively for Hamilton in the third quarter to keep them within striking distance, but a 24-point fourth quarter by Pinnacle was too much.

Bryan finished with 18 points for Hamilton (12 in the second half) and Eric Jacobson added 11 inside.

"I'm proud of the effort," said Hartwig, who thought major minutes played Thursday might have contributed to some fatigue down the stretch on Saturday. "Ultimately it came down to their ability to hit shots."



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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]