5A boys' basketball: Viewmont stifles Northridge (with video)
Ogden • An hour before his Viewmont Vikings were slated to matchup up with Northridge, Jeff Emery wasn't sure his team actually would make it to the Dee Events Center for the matchup. That's how difficult it was to negotiate on I-15 on Monday night.
"They called me and they were still in Farmington," Emery said.
Slowly, however, the Vikings trickled in for their Class 5A first-round affair. And when they did, they remembered to bring their defense with them. A 56-43 win over the Knights advanced them to Wednesday's second round against Brighton. The final score was impressive. The way Viewmont accomplished it was even more impressive.
Emery's team limited one of the best shooting squads in the state to 25 percent shooting. Northridge the crew with the bombs-away mentality took 41 3-pointers and made seven. Preston Christensen was limited to 15 points on 5-of-23 shooting. Jacob Bigler went 3-of-13 from beyond the arc.
The final was a far cry from the nightmares Emery had in the days leading up to the game. If any team is capable of winning a game with the jump shot, the Knights were that team. But the Vikings went into full lockdown mode defensively Monday.
"I was in the fetal position thinking about how good they were shooting the ball," Emery said. "We wanted to made sure that we got a hand in Christensen's face and in Bigler's face. We knew they had three guys who could really make you pay. So if they beat us over outstretched hands, then so be it."
By contrast, Viewmont took eight 3-pointers. That's because the Vikings spent most of the game pounding the ball inside. McKay Johnson is a point guard, but he stands 6 foot 3. Emery made the decision to post him up in the second half, and it paid dividends as the junior scored all 14 of his points during the final two quarters.
Tye Jarom scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 21 minutes. He also asserted his will in the paint.
Overall, Viewmont played smarter. The Vikings took the ball to the basket and got to the free-throw line, making 19 of 23 from the stripe. The Vikings allowed just 17 points in the second half and turned a close game at intermission into a rout by the middle of the fourth quarter.
"Nobody is expecting us to do much," Emery said. "We don't have any pressure on us. So I told the guys let's stick around and see what we can do."