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5A boys’ basketball: Pleasant Grove bombs West Jordan from long range

First Published      Last Updated Mar 01 2017 10:08 pm

Ogden • Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister had a message for his program after the Class 5A boys' basketball tournament converged on Weber State University after splitting the first round between the University of Utah and Utah Valley University.

"Our team's identity is a good shooting team with a big guy," McAllister said. "So Monday we were unbelievably awful. I think our boys focused too much on getting the ball to [center] Matt [Van Komen], so we played psychological warfare on these kids. [We told them], 'We get to go to this shooting game now. Weber State is famous for 3-pointers being made. It's the easiest shooting gym in the world.'



"The kids don't know any better. So I said, 'We're lining up tonight, guys. We're calling 3-point shots the first couple plays of the game."

McAllister kept his word. The Vikings' first basket of the game was from beyond the arc. The doors opened from there. Pleasant Grove connected on 11 3-pointers, shooting 45.8 percent from 3-point range, as it cruised past West Jordan 54-39 and into Friday's semifinals.

"They got excited about shooting it," McAllister said. "They played more relaxed. They played loose, so that was fun to see. It was great."

Sophomore Casey Brown led all scorers with 19 points for the Vikings on 6 of 10 attempts, including knocking down four 3-pointers. He received the green light and didn't disappoint in the third quarter.

"Coach just told us to play freely. We came out confident and knocked down our shots," Brown said.

Eight different Vikings contributed to the scoring total, but the biggest key to the win was the advantage on the glass. Pleasant Grove out-rebounded West Jordan 26-22 and held the Jaguars to less than 10 second-chance points — an element that helped fuel West Jordan's opening round upset of Sky View.

"That was the big discussion in practice," McAllister said. "We talked about it. It was on the board. We really focused on that."

Darrian Nebeker was the lone Jaguar to score in double figures, finishing with 11 points.

The Vikings will face Bingham at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.

tphibbs@sltrib.com

Twitter: @trevorphibbs

 

AT A GLANCE

Pleasant Grove 54, West Jordan 39

» Pleasant Grove knocks down 11 3-pointers to skate past West Jordan into the semifinals.

» Sophomore Casey Brown scores a game-high 19 points in the win.

» West Jordan never leads in the game.


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