It happened again.
Frustration mounted as the Pinnacle girls basketball spent another championship game trying to reach the top, only to be turned away by Tolleson.
For a third consecutive year, the Pioneers left in agony, as the Wolverines successfully three-peated after a 65-47 victory against Pinnacle in the 5A-II title game Friday afternoon at Jobing.com Arena.
It's a tribune to No. 3 Pinnacle, which reached its fifth consecutive championship game dating back to being a 4A Division I school in 2007. But it's also the fifth straight year the Pioneers have fallen in the final contest.
"I'm proud of my kids," Pinnacle coach Jackie Clayton said. "It's a tribute to them to be here this many times."
The refrain, however, stayed the same. Tolleson has won the past five meetings between these two teams (regular season and playoffs), and despite a size advantage up front, the Pioneers couldn't take advantage.
Pinnacle committed 12 turnovers by halftime trying to force the ball into Aley Rohde inside, and Tolleson took advantage late in the second quarter with outside shooting and, despite the size differential, rebounding.
"We were in a hurry," Clayton said.
Both teams shot 31 percent, but Tolleson hit 8 of 28 from outside, while Pinnacle was just 3 of 17. Tolleson outrebounded the Pioneers and committed half as many turnovers for the game.
Sydney Wiese led Pinnacle with 17 points and five assists, but had several shots rim in-and-out and went 6-for-18 from the floor. She had 34 points in the semifinals against Horizon on Wednesday.
Rohde, who's headed to Arizona next year, finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds, but also struggled shooting and fouled out midway through the fourth quarter.
By then, Pinnacle had mounted a comeback but ran out of answers for Tolleson getting to loose balls and defending Rohde.
Wiese nailed a half-court shot at the halftime buzzer to pull Pinnacle within 35-25 at intermission . Then the Pioneers came out and scored the first six points of the third quarter.
"Just when you thought we make a surge." Clayton said. "... We were hoping to get some momentum (after Wiese's 50-footer)."
Instead, Tolleson hit a couple three-pointers after Pinnacle cut it to within four points, and the Pioneers couldn't pull within nine points the rest of the way.
Bri White had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines, who also made 18 of 25 free throws in the second half when Pinnacle had to force the action out of desperation. Talia White scored 17 for Tolleson.
As for Pinnacle, the Pioneers could be here again in 2012. They lose Rohde and two others to graduation, but four of the five starters and five other reserves are sophomores.
"I don't think we surprised them with anything, I don't think they surprised us with anything," Tolleson coach Todd Nelson said. "I think we played really well."