Ogden • It took a half for Pleasant Grove to round into form at Tuesday’s Class 6A boys’ basketball state tournament.
The Vikings committed seven turnovers, looked out of place and allowed West Jordan to control the tempo in the first half.
It was the complete opposite after halftime. Pleasant Grove played with an energy and intensity that was lacking in the earlier stages of the game.
And that helped Pleasant Grove outlast West Jordan 62-54 to advance to face Weber in the state quarterfinals.
Pleasant Grove struggled to keep up with the Jaguars in the first half, allowing more wide-open 3-point attempts than it would have liked.
West Jordan’s Sinai Enoch hit two 3-point buzzer beaters in the half to give the Jaguars the momentum and edge heading into halftime.
The Vikings knew they needed increased energy on the defensive end.
“They did pretty much whatever they wanted in the first half,” Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister said. “West Jordan only had one turnover at halftime, and that’s not acceptable.”
Casey Brown, who finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, said he and his teammates understood the situation at halftime.
“We knew if we didn’t have the energy in the second half, West Jordan would go on a run and our season would be over,” Brown said. “It was just enthusiasm. We switched up our defense at halftime, and everyone came out and cared more. We got out more to their 3-point shooters, and our defense led to our offense and was able to get us in the flow.”
West Jordan shot 5 of 12 on 3-pointers in the first half but just 4 for 15 in the second half. The third quarter was especially unkind to the Jaguars, who only connected on 2 of their 11 shots and finished with six points in the period.
The Vikings also had major contribution from their big center Matt Van Komen, who filled up the stats sheet with 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.
Pleasant Grove took the lead for good when guard Kwaika Akina knocked down a 3-pointers with with four minutes left.
PLEASANT GROVE 62, WEST JORDAN 54
• The Vikings outsocre the Jaguars 39-23 in the second half to win the first-round game.
• Casey Brown scores 18 points, while Matt Van Komen finishes with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
• West Jordan gets 19 points from Sinai Enoch.