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2021-22 GAME RECAPS

 
 


Higley win-streak ends vs. Gilbert
January 10, 2022 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

One winning streak ended while another continued Monday night as Higley and Gilbert engaged in a 5A San Tan Region game at Gilbert High.

Gilbert got cooking in the second quarter to open up a double-digit lead by halftime and kept that margin most of the second half in defeating Higley, 51-41.

Gilbert's victory snapped Higley's 10-game winning streak. The Tigers pulled off their sixth win in a row, a streak that began with four wins and the title of the McClintock Holiday Shootout Dec. 27-30. Gilbert improved its overall record to 17-2 and is 1-0 in region. Higley (12-3, 1-1) hadn't lost since Nov. 27 when it played in the Phoenix Union District Invite to begin the season.

A slow start to the game saw Gilbert trail 2 1/2 minutes in, 8-2. The Tigers battled back with six players scoring in the first quarter for an 11-10 advantage. The second quarter was Gilbert's best as it outscored Higley, 18-8. That same scoring balance continued with Nikko Pentelute, Reed Shuey and KJ Perry netting four points apiece. Elijah Johnson and Tyler Lubash each sank a three as the Tigers gained firm control at 29-18.

Higley made a brief bid at a comeback early in the third period by scoring the quarter's first five points to trim the deficit to six. A pair of threes by Johnson helped Gilbert push the lead back comfortably to 41-27 with the final quarter to play. Higley couldn't make much headway, paring Gilbert's lead under briefly at 41-33 with 5:30 to go.

Gilbert had five players score between 12 and 7 points. Johnson led with 12 (four threes), Pentelute and Shuey were next with 10 and Perry and Isaiah Bronson chipped in with seven apiece. Yarell Greer topped Higley in scoring with 11 points, followed by Kameron Bender with 10 and Sunny Xepera with eight.

 

Gilbert claims McClintock Shootout crown
December 30, 2021 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Two invitationals in the 2021-2022 season. Two first-place trophies for Gilbert's boys basketball team.

The Tigers added the McClintock Holiday Shootout to their triumphs on Thursday night. They knocked off Hamilton, 48-42, in the tourney final at McClintock High.

Gilbert was led by seniors Nikko Pentelute and Reed Shuey, both of whom earned all-tournament honors. Pentelute was accorded tournament Most Valuable Player recognition. Gilbert also won its own Welcome to the Jungle Invite during the Thanksgiving break. The Tigers are 15-2 for the season and Hamilton is 14-3.

Pentelute led all scorers Thursday in the title game with 21 points. All his points came via threes (five) or free throws (6 of 6). All six free throws were tallied in the final 42 seconds as Hamilton opted to foul to get the ball back trailing, 41-39, with 45 seconds to go. Shuey added 14 points, doing his usual scoring in the paint.

Hamilton trailed virtually the entire game and by as many as eight points (35-27) late in the third period. The Huskies entered the final quarter down 37-34 and managed one brief lead in the fourth, 38-37. They scored back-to-back baskets (Daimon Denning and Jalen Lee) for that advantage that lasted 25 seconds. Shuey scored his final basket of the night with 5:27 to go and the Tigers were never headed again.

All-tournament selection Quincy Adams paced Hamilton with 16 points, all of those in the first three quarters. Adams fouled out with 1:09 to play after picking up four consecutive fouls trying to get Gilbert to the free-throw line. Daimon Denning also scored in double figures for the Huskies with 15 points.

Six players comprised the all-tournament team announced after the title game. Joining Pentelute, Shuey and Adams were Apollo's Ahamed Mohamed, Basha's Torin Bosch and McClintock's Jaylen Wesley.

In the other games played on Day 4 in the Shootout, the host Chargers claimed fifth place with an 88-65 win over Highland. Basha defeated Mesa High, 66-42, for the consolation title and Apollo bested Ironwood, 60-41, for third place.


Gilbert advances to Shootout final
December 29, 2021 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Gilbert High and Hamilton earned their way to the title game of the McClintock Holiday Shootout on Wednesday night with tight victories over Apollo and Ironwood, respectively.

Nikko Pentelute's three-point play with one second left lifted Gilbert past Apollo, 60-59. Hamilton outscored Ironwood, 17-6, in the third quarter to erase a halftime deficit in a 45-39 triumph over Ironwood at McClintock High.

Gilbert and Hamilton bring 14-2 records to Thursday's 7 p.m. championship game at Doc Zinke Gymnasium. Apollo and Ironwood square off at 5:30 for third place. Highland and McClintock meet at 2:30 p.m. for fifth place and Basha and Mesa High battle for the consolation title at 4 p.m. on the tourney's final day.

Gilbert trailed Apollo 32-14 at halftime and put itself back in the game by cutting the deficit in half (42-33) heading to the final period. Seniors Pentelute and Reed Shuey spearheaded the comeback. Both players were scoreless at halftime. They rebounded scoring 29 of the Tigers 46 second-half points. Pentelute finished with 16 points to lead Gilbert, Shuey added 13 and KJ Perry chipped in with 14 - 10 of his points in the second half.

It was an uphill battle all the way for Gilbert, which tied the game 3-3 in the first quarter and never led until the game's final basket. Gilbert trailed by 11 with seven minutes left in the game.

The Tigers tied it one other time (57-all) in the final 30 seconds on a Perry basket. Apollo standout Ahamed Mohamed's two free throws with eight seconds left put the Hawks up two, but Pentelute followed with the game winner. Apollo fired up a desperation shot at the buzzer to no avail.

Mohamed led all scorers with 23 points. Teammates Bobby Holcomb (11 points) and Joshon Person (10 points) joined Mohamed in double figures.


Gilbert rallies in 4th to top McClintock

December 28, 2021 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Making free throws is always critical from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Gilbert High was the victor in that department Tuesday night and it helped the Tigers defeat host McClintock at its Holiday Shootout.

Gilbert sank 6 of 6 free throws in the final minute and 11 of 12 in the fourth quarter allowing the Tigers to rally past McClintock, 77-74.

Gilbert (13-2) trailed 59-55 heading to the final period. They gradually pecked away at the four-point deficit and took the lead for good, 71-70 with 2:28 to play as the Tigers Nikko Pentelute made one of two free throws. McClintock's PJ Volz missed two free throws with 1:10 to go, but Gilbert responded with four free throws off the bench from Isaiah Bronson sandwiched around two by Pentelute.

Bronson's last two tosses pushed Gilbert's advantage to 77-74 with 10.9 seconds left. McClintock managed to attempt two, three-point shots (one each by Jaylen Wesley and EJ Scroggins) on its final possession. Neither was on the mark. Game totals from the free-throw line - Gilbert 15 of 19 and McClintock 10 of 20.

Gilbert had four starters scored in double figures - Pentelute 21, Reed Shuey 20, KJ Perry 19 and Shade Kerr 11. McClintock was led by Wesley (24 points), Scroggins (20 points) and Davion Butler (14 points).

Gilbert advances to Wednesday's semifinals to face Apollo, which advanced after its Tuesday opponent Mountain Pointe withdrew from the tourney. One of Gilbert's two losses this season was to Apollo two weeks ago. That game is set for 5:30 p.m. The other semifinal is at 7 p.m. matching Hamilton and Ironwood.

Hamilton advanced with a 53-44 win over Desert Mountain and Ironwood got past Highland, 61-55. Hamilton's Quincy Adams scored a team-high 17 points. Aaron Foote added 11, sinking 3 of 4 threes. Michael DeHorney rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Huskies with 10 points. Desert Mountain's Easton Reagan tallied a game-high 22 points. Ironwood was paced by Ringo Aguet's 14 points and 12 from Jordan Kuac. Highland's AJ Riggs connected for a game-high 23 points.


Gilbert boys basketball team off to fast start behind tough defense, unselfish play

Richard Obert - Arizona Republic - ORIGINAL STORY & PIX

Gilbert is always good in basketball. But did anybody expect the Tigers to be this good?

They've won their first six games, beat Gilbert Perry (51-45) one of the top contenders to win the 6A title to win its holiday tournament last week, and kept Scottsdale Desert Mountain top scorer Easton Reagan in check Tuesday night for a 52-42 win at home.

What the Tigers have done early on already has the student section looking like it is in January form.

Usually, big crowds don't come out until after the Christmas holidays, when power-point games and region rivals make the match-ups more intriguing.
But this team is special and the students know it.

They play with intensity, a fire on defense, and make every opposing shot tough to come by.

Even though Gilbert Mesquite senior guard Nate Calmese went off for 37 points against Gilbert, it took 35 shots for him to get that, and Gilbert won the game 79-66.

The Tigers aren't very big. They have 6-6, 220-pound Reed Shuey in the post. They have a terrific point guard in senior Nikko Pentelute, who was named the Most Valuable Player of Gilbert's Welcome to the Jungle tournament. Junior guard KJ Perry is a tough defender who can score.

Pentelute and Perry both are averaging 18 points a game. Pentelute and Shuey each average eight rebounds.

Coach Jay Caserio knows how to get the most out of his entire roster, get them to play team basketball on both ends of the court.

"Our senior leadership and experience are keys to our success," Caserio said.

Desert Mountain will be good this year. Coach Mark Schumaker does a great job, and Reagan is a leader on and off the court. At halftime, the Wolves led Gilbert by six, and had a one-point lead at the start of the final quarter.

"Coach Shumaker took us completely out of everything we wanted to do on offense and dominated the glass in the first half," Caserio said. "We finally started to take care of the ball in the second half, kept them off the lass and executed the offense with some timely 3s."

Gilbert plays against Thursday night at Mesa Desert Ridge. The Tigers are in the midst of playing eight games in 14 days, before taking a break and getting ready for the McClintock tournament Dec. 27.

This unselfish team is built to handle this kind of grind.

"They are so solid on both ends, dictate pace, and make great adjustments," Schumaker said of Gilbert. "We were doing a great job against their best guys, and they had some role guys step up.

"They don't beat themselves. Make very few mistakes. You have to be on your game and have a great game plan."

 

Welcome to the Jungle - Day 3
November 24, 2021 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Perry and Gilbert continued to bludgeon opponents on Day 3 of the Welcome to the Jungle Holiday Tournament at Gilbert High.

Both schools finished 3-0 and earned the right to face off in Friday's tourney title game at 5 p.m. at Gilbert HS. Gilbert took down Corona del Sol, 58-42. Perry followed that with the last game of Day 3 by punishing Mesa Mountain View, 72-34.

Gilbert won its three games by an average of 18 points. The Tigers knocked off Chandler, Pinnacle and Corona. Perry was even more dominating with an average margin of victory a whopping 37 points. The Pumas victims were Desert Ridge, Valley Vista and Mountain View.

Gilbert took the suspense out of its game Wednesday with Corona del Sol jumping to an 18-2 lead after the first quarter. The Tigers lead never dipped below double digits nearly the entire game. Senior guard Nikko Pentelute paced Gilbert with 20 points and got ample assistance from fellow starters KJ Perry, Reed Shuey and Golden Thibaudeau. Perry and Shuey scored 11 points apiece and Thibaudeau added nine. All nine of his were in the first half. Corona del Sol's top scorers were Quinn Thorne (9 points) and Raymond Lam (8 points).

Perry had six players score in the first quarter in its win over Mountain View. Koa Peat (6), Dylan Anderson (5) and at least a basket or free throw from Elijah Burlend, Kyle Waters, Cody Williams and Ben Egbo forged a 19-6 advantage after the first eight minutes. Anderson and Williams got cooking in the second period, combining for 16 of the Pumas 24 points in the quarter. Their lead at intermission was 43-14. Anderson finished with a game-high 16 points and Williams and Peat tallied 14 points each. Peyton Rule led Mountain View with 13 points.