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Prep boys' basketball: Pleasant Grove out to regain winning form

Published February 6, 2013 3:46 pm

Prep notes • The Herriman girls are closing in on a playoff berth.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Three weeks after combining for 216 points in a four-overtime thriller, the Pleasant Grove and Lehi boys' basketball teams meet again Friday.

Pleasant Grove, which won the 109-107 marathon at Lehi, followed that game with a double-overtime victory against American Fork.

"When the AF game went to overtime, I knelt down beside them and we all had the same thought that we were just here," Vikings coach Randy McAllister said. "They were calm and weren't panicking, and they just looked confident and relaxed.

"That was maybe a benefit of having the success [against Lehi]. We were pretty poised and expected to do well."

But Pleasant Grove hasn't won since the back-to-back overtime outings, falling to Riverton and Bingham last week and Lone Peak on Tuesday.

"We played two of our worst games of the year last week, as far as offensive execution and defensive execution," McAllister said. "We just played poorly. We definitely have to make some adjustments."

Still, the young Vikings, who have just four seniors on their roster, are in position to secure a playoff spot after not qualifying for the state tournament a season ago.

Sophomore Riley Court (16 points per game), junior Matt Conway (14) and Forrest Pincock (12) have carried the offensive load for the Vikings, but McAllister likely will need to find someone to play defense Friday against Lehi's Blake Cleveringa.

The senior guard scored 54 points in the first meeting and is averaging 22 this season.

"We definitely have to keep him at his average," McAllister said. "He's a good shooter, but he put it on the floor way more effectively than we gave him credit for when we bodied him up."

A Mustangs' first?

The Herriman girls' basketball team failed to lock up the program's first playoff berth last week when it lost at home to Westlake. But the Mustangs, in their third year of competition, enter the week with a two-game lead on the fifth-place Thunder.

Herriman has used a balanced offense all season, with six players averaging at least 5 points per game and none averaging as much as 8 ppg.

Though coach Jill Ames employs a senior-heavy rotation, it's junior Ashlee Burge (6.8 ppg) and sophomore Alexi Smith (6.4) who have provided key baskets in close wins against Murray, Olympus and Hillcrest.

Rebounding

After starting the season 1-9, the Summit Academy boys' basketball team has won 7 of 8 in Region 16 play entering the week. Junior Rashaan Griffin is a big reason, averaging 21 points per game in region play, including a 33-point performance against Waterford last month.