Welcome to the Jungle - boys hoops tourney

November 24, 2021 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Corona del Sol's defense led by Quinn Thorne (2) turns away Chandler's Brandon Nunez (24) in the Aztecs' 57-30 victory (Azpreps365 photo)

Day 2 of the annual Welcome to the Jungle Holiday boys hoops tournament is in the books and three of the eight teams are unbeaten.

Corona del Sol, Perry and host Gilbert racked up double-digit triumphs Tuesday to move to 2-0. Corona del topped Chandler, 57-30, to open Day 2 play. Perry followed with a 73-39 rout of Valley Vista. Gilbert toppled Pinnacle, 62-41.

Corona del Sol built a 29-11 halftime lead and expanded that lead to 47-15 after three periods. Ten players scored for the Aztecs. Guard Quinn Thorne led a very balanced attack with 11 points. Nikola Kostadinovski and Preston Lee tallied nine points apiece. Mihail Kostadinovski added eight and center Ollie Hinder chipped in with seven. Brandon Nunez paced Chandler (0-2) wih nine points.

Perry followed up an opening day 34-point victory with a similar outcome against Valley Vista. A 43-15 lead at intermisson had the Pumas well on their way to victory. The team's top three scorers after two games will likely remain that throughout the season. Senior Dylan Anderson led this game with 17 points. Freshman Koa Peat added 15 points and junior Cody Williams chimed in with 12. Perry bolted to a 21-4 lead after the first period with Anderson netting 10 of his points in the quarter.

Gilbert was the next school to remain unbeaten with a strong first half. A 17-10 lead after the first period wasn't devastating, but the second period locked down the easy win. The Tigers led at halftime, 40-18. A trio of veteran players from last season led the way offensively. KJ Perry hit for a game-high 25 points, 16 in the opening half. Nikko Pentelute added 14 - nine in the second half. Post Reed Shuey checked in with 10 points, eight in the first half. Ashton Reese nabbed team-high scoring honors for Pinnacle with 15.

In Tuesday's late game Mountain View prevailed over Desert Ridge.


Gilbert's Nikko Pentelute (5) finishes a layup ahead of Pinnacle's defense in the Tigers' victory (Azpreps365 photo) 

Standings after Day 2 of the tournament are as follows: Corona del Sol (2-0), Gilbert (2-0), Perry (2-0), Valley Vista (1-1), Mountain View (1-1), Chandler (0-2), Desert Ridge (0-2) and Pinnacle (0-2).

The schedule for Day 3 on Wednesday at Gilbert High: 3:30 p.m - Valley Vista vs. Desert Ridge, 5 p.m. - Pinnacle vs. Chandler; 6:30 p.m. - Gilbert vs. Corona del Sol; 8 p.m. - Perry vs. Mountain View.