PLEASANT GROVE — For Pleasant Grove, Region 4 play started out on a good note, as the Vikings defeated visiting region foe the Bingham Miners 47-43 in front of a raucous crowd that filled the gymnasium.
Pleasant Grove controlled the opening tip, but turnovers and missed shots had the team down quickly, 11-3. During a needed timeout, the coaches refocused the players.
On the court, Viking senior center Alan Hamson stepped up his defensive effort and blocked three shots. Junior guard Mike Anderson hit two field goals and a foul shot, and by the end of the first quarter Bingham led, 13-10. However, the Vikings had momentum in their court and a noisy sixth man in the bleachers.
Pleasant Grove outscored Bingham 18-14 during the second quarter due to a great effort from senior forward Nate Sampson, as he scored 10 of his 11 points in that stretch. At the half the Vikings were up by one, 28-27.
The third and fourth quarters saw more defense than offense. Bingham senior guard Cody Benson scored five of his game-high 17 points in the third quarter.
During the last quarter, the Vikings "played defense, made great passes and hit their shots," according to Viking head coach Randy McAllister.
With 10.5 seconds left on the clock, Pleasant Grove was up by two points, 45-43. Hamson got fouled on a defensive rebound, came to the line and, with the fans from both teams raising the roof, calmly drained both shots, putting the game out of reach.
"Our coaches worked these kids harder during our last few practices than any game we will ever play because they started the preseason with no experience," McAllister said. "Tonight they came out ready to play."
For the Miners, Benson had high points for the game with 17, senior Eric Hanney scored eight, and senior Connor Williams added six points. Hamson and Sampson were high scorers for the Vikings with 11 each, and senior Spencer Pincock added eight points.
Bingham stands at 0-1 in region and 4-8 overall. It will host Lehi on Tuesday. Pleasant Grove also has a 4-8 overall record, with a 1-0 record in region. The Vikings will play on the road at Lone Peak on Tuesday.