LAYTON — Thirty minutes before Pleasant Grove took the floor in Saturday's 5A girls' basketball play-in game, senior starter Kourtney Dinehart suffered a seizure sitting on the bench.
It was her second seizure in the past year, and she was promptly rushed to the hospital.
Over the next two hours, her teammates showed tremendous resolve as they overcame plenty of adversity to upset Layton 51-43 for a berth in next week's 5A state tournament.
"This is our fifth year in a row in the tournament. I tell the girls every year, 'Once you get there, anything can happen.' Look what happened last year," said coach Glenn Larson, whose team was a surprise runner-up to Syracuse in last years 5A playoffs.
Larson doesn't know if Dinehart will be available on Monday when the Vikings face region foe Lone Peak at 11:10 a.m. at Salt Lake Community College. After the game, Larson got a report that Dinehart was doing OK, but was feeling really weak.
"She had one last year at Vegas in a soccer camp. We thought it might've been heat-related down there," said Larson. "We're concerned."
Without Dinehart, Britney Johnson, Danyelle Hoffman and Janae Olson all played 32 minutes, while several other role players stepped up with big contributions. Hoffman led the way for the Vikings with 21 points, while Johnson chipped in with 19 points and 18 rebounds.
Pleasant Grove never trailed on Saturday despite conceding 30 offensive rebounds and turning the ball over 22 times. It's not hard to believe, however, when you consider that Layton shot a shocking 18 percent on its home floor.
Larson believes his team's defensive performance contributed to Layton's 13-of-72 shooting performance.
"We pushed them out. Most of their shots were long and contested," said Larson.
Despite all of Layton's struggles, on two separate occasions in the second half, it threatened to overtake the Vikings.
Trailing 27-18 at the half, Layton scored on four straight possessions early in the third quarter to whittle Pleasant Grove's lead to 27-26. Unfortunately for the Lancers, as quickly as they found their shooting stroke, it abandoned them as they went scoreless over the final five minutes of the third quarter.
Leading by eight heading into the fourth quarter, Pleasant Grove pushed the advantage to 45-33 as Johnson converted a three-point play with 4:09 remaining.1 comment on this story
Just when it looked like the visitors would run away with the win, Layton's defense forced Pleasant Grove into five straight turnovers and cut the lead to 45-41. It could've easily made it a two-point game, but two Layton players missed easy lay-ups with 1:41 remaining.
Larson quickly called time-out to settle his players down, and they responded by taking care of the basketball the rest of the game.
"Most teams that have pressed us have man pressed us, but theirs was a little different wrinkle. It was good thing we had the lead we did," said Larson.