After losing their last three games, the Lehi boys basketball team traveled to Pleasant Grove hoping to end the downward slide.
The Vikings started strong on the shooting of senior forward Nate Sampson and shot-blocking of senior center Alan Hamson. At the end of the first period, the Vikings were ahead by five points, 16-11. But the Pioneers were determined to put a stop to that lead.
From the second period on, it was as if a lid had been placed on the Vikings' basket. The Pioneers scored 21 points in the second period. Lehi's senior center, Colton Colledge, scored 11 points on his own.
"We have an undersized center, but he makes up for it in his ball handling and shooting," Lehi coach Craig Gladwell said about Colledge.
The center ended the game with a game-high 18 points; defensive rebounding and assists made him a high-value presence on the court.
At the end of the half, Lehi was up by six points; by the end of the third period, the lead was eight, and at the finish, Lehi won by 13 points.
During the last period, as despiration set in, the Vikings had to foul in hopes of picking up missed shots at the line. The Pioneers' final 11 points all came from the foul line.
For the Vikings, Sampson scored 12 points, junior guard Mike Anderson scored 10 points and Hamson and sophomore guard Forrest Pincock had nine apiece. The Vikings hit 17 field goals, of which three were treys; the team went 9 of 11 at the foul line.
For the Pioneers, Colledge led all scoring with 18 points, and junior forward Blake Cleveringa and senior guard Brad McGregor scored 12 points each. As a team, the Pioneers hit 19 field goals, four of which were treys, and shot 17 of 22 from the charity line.
"We have struggled lately, but we came out and played well," Gladwell said. "Once we focused and got the momentum going in our favor, our confidence improved, we played tougher defense, picked up rebounds and came down and started making our shots."
The Vikings now stand at 4-10 overall with a 1-2 record in region play. Their next game will be on the road at American Fork on Tuesday.
The Pioneers have a 9-5 record overall with a 1-2 mark in region play. Their next game will be Tuesday, playing for the home crowd against Riverton.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove Viking varsity sports.