BROOMFIELD – The rest of Class 3A may have to take notice, because two of the tops teams in the state went at it Monday night at Holy Family gymnasium.
And it was a classic. A game that came down to the very last second and the very last possession. But in the end Holy Family let out a big sigh of relief and pushed its winning streak to nine games by topping Pinnacle 46-45.
"Fortunately for us we found a way on our home court," Holy Family's David Sommers said. "Coach preaches about it, that every possession matters and that is what it came down to at the end."
Holy Family is regarded one of the top schools in the state, and rightfully so. The Tigers, who are currently ranked No. 3, are a perennial state playoff squad and have only dropped two games this season – one to 4A Broomfield and another to No. 8 University.
But Pinnacle has fallen under the radar, partly due to its not so impressive 10-7 record. But the Timberwolves difficult non-conference schedule can be held accountable for that and losing by one point on the road to a top-five team may start getting Pinnacle, which is a perfect 10-0 in the Frontier League, some respect.
"I know I have a really good team," Pinnacle's coach Lou Vullo said. "That's why I schedule such a difficult non-league schedule. We knew we could hang with them."
Pinnacle had the ball with a chance to win at the end, but senior Chase Phillips was called for traveling as he drove to the basket as the last ticks went off the clock.
The way the Timberwolves started the game, it was surprising that they had a chance to win. Pinnacle turned the ball over on four of its first five possessions and had 15 turnovers in the first half and the Tigers took advantage behind the play of Jarron Sprenger.
Sprenger scored eight of his 10 points in the opening quarter as Holy Family jumped out to an 19-12 advantage after the first quarter.
And sophomore Luke Golter took over in the second for the Tigers, scoring seven consecutive points to push Holy Family's advantage to 28-18 at halftime.
For Pinnacle, things went from bad to worse when starting point guard Sansom Ouk sprained his ankle and had to sit the rest of the game with a brace on his ankle.
"I think he'll be alright," Vullo said.
The Timberwolves rallied in the second half, thanks in part to the Tigers getting in foul trouble. Both Sprenger and Sommers had to sit in the third due to foul trouble and Pinnacle took advantage behind the play of Phillips and Danko Krcum.
The duo scored six straight points to get Pinnacle within three, but Holy Family's Chuck Hollwedel hit a runner at the buzzer to advance the Tigers lead to 36-31 going into the final quarter.
"We talked about it at the halftime," Vullo said. "I told the kids that we were right back in the game if we cut down on the turnovers. They stuck together and played the way we know how to play."
Pinnacle's opened the fourth quarter on 10-2 run and the Timberwolves got their first lead of the game after a tip-in by David Pinela. Chase Gonzales hit a jumper to extend the Timberwolves advantage to 43-40 with two minutes left in the contest. The Tigers responded with a 6-2 run which was capped by a dunk by Sommers, who scored four of his six points in the final quarter.
"(The dunk) was big for the energy, but we still had to work after that," Sommer said.
Krcum scored a game-high 16 points, while Austin Brown and Devlin Granberg each had eight for Holy Family.