PLEASANT GROVE — The Brighton boys basketball team picked up a key road win and kept up the pace in Region 4, beating Pleasant Grove 64-50 Wednesday.
The Bengals' single loss in region means they stay in essentially a tie with one-loss Jordan, while Pleasant Grove picked up its second league loss and slipped behind the leaders.
The fast-paced, guard-oriented Bengals dictated the tempo from the opening tip and were mostly effective in taking Pleasant Grove's size advantage away.
Some role players also stepped up and had good nights shooting the ball for Brighton. The result was a comfortable win that might have come a little more easily than expected.
"We expect close, close contests," said Bengals' coach Lyndon Johnson. "I was pleased with how we played. We got out to a good start."
Brighton put a lot of points on the board early and put the Vikings in a hole they didn't have the offensive firepower to dig out of. Nineteen first-quarter points gave the Bengals a seven-point lead, and they gradually stretched it out to double digits by halftime.
Knowing his team needed to slow the pace of the game down, Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister felt his team got off its rhythm and took too many quick shots. That only further allowed Brighton to run the floor and get its guards open in transition.
"We fell into it," said McAllister. "We got outplayed by a team that was more ready to play than we were tonight."
Brighton 's usual leaders, Corbin Miller and Sam Wunderli, scored their share of points, but the rest of its score sheet was very balanced. Four other players had five points or more, and nine different players in total put points on the board for the Bengals.
"The tempo was in our favor," said Johnson. "We were able to get the ball up the floor and get open shots in transition."
Senior center Xan Ricketts and Moses Lotulelei had seven points a piece, exceeding their season averages. Jace Felix added five from his guard position.
The game broke open midway through the second quarter when Wunderli hit back-to-back 3-pointers. The Vikings had clawed to within a possession at 21-18, but the senior swingman squared up twice from near the top of the key and hit nothing but net to make it a nine-point lead.7 comments on this story
The lead was 11 points in the final minute of the half when Miller hit a big 3 that seemed to quiet the home crowd for good. The Vikings went into halftime down by 15, and never got the deficit down to single digits again.
"We wanted to get them into an up and down contest," said Johnson. "Today we got out early and got a lead."
On Pleasant Grove's side, dominant center Sefa Tanoai scored a team-high 11 points, but never found a rhythm. Cory McAllister led the Vikings with 18 points, but no one else on the roster had more than four.