PLEASANT GROVE — The Pleasant Grove Vikings made sure they went into Christmas break on the right note.
Squaring off against Region 12's Spanish Fork, the Vikes jumped out to a 35-15 halftime lead en route to a 73-50 victory on Thursday night in their final game before the Christmas holiday.
"This is a very solid team we played tonight," said Viking head coach Randy McCallister. "They are picked to win their region and compete for the championship in 3A."
The game started with turnovers by both teams, but things started to settle down when — ironically — the Vikings started to speed things up. Viking junior guard Forrest Pincock started the scoring by draining a trey from the corner, went back on defense, grabbed a rebound, hit sophomore guard Riley Court with a great pass, and watched as Court hit a trey.
The Vikings never looked back.
At the end of the first period, the Vikings were up by five, 15-10. Spanish Fork's starters, Benson Reese, Cameron Money and Gentry Robinson, all scored in the first period, but Pleasant Grove's tough defense slowed them and the rest of their teammates down for the rest of the game.
The second period is when the Vikings assumed permanent control. They scored 12 unanswered points on four consecutive treys by junior guard Nate Diderickson. Things got worse for Spanish Fork as its big center Taylor Parker was benched with three fouls. By the time the half closed out, the Vikings had stretched their lead to 20 points.
The third period was like the second as Pleasant Grove scored 17 points to the Dons' nine points. Spanish Fork made a small comeback in the last period as they scored 24 points against the Vikings' 21. However, the game had long since been decided.
The Vikings had four players in double figures: Diderickson with 14, Matt Conway with 13, Court with 12 and Mark Sheffield with 10 points. Pleasant Grove scored on eight treys, 14 field goals and 21-of-32 free throws.
Robinson tied with sophomore Connor Anderson as Spanish Fork's high scorers with eight points each. The Dons hit one trey, 16 field goals and 15-of-24 free throws. After the Christmas break, Spanish Fork's next game will be on Jan. 8 at home against Juab at 7 pm.
On Dec. 26, the Vikings will travel to Palm Desert, Calif., to play in the Max Preps Holiday Classic. They will return to play at home against Hunter High School on Jan. 9.
"We are looking forward to playing in this tournament. There will be some very good teams that play the game a bit differently than we are used to playing here," McCallister said. "It will be a good experience for us."
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports, contributing to Deseret Connect Publishing.