PLEASANT GROVE — The Riverton Silverwolves held only a two-point lead over Pleasant Grove, 63-61, when Riverton guard Nathan Erickson was fouled by the Vikings.
Less than five seconds remained, and the pressure was on Erickson to convert a one-and-one opportunity at the free-throw line.
He calmly came through in the clutch.
Erickson drilled both free throws to ice the game, and the Silverwolves emerged with a big 65-61 victory Friday night.
"We really needed this win," said Riverton center Richard Worsham, who scored a team-high 18 points. "We've been on a three-game slide, and to keep playing, we needed to win. I had a lot of second-chance shots that helped, but it feels good to win again."
Pleasant Grove started fast and had the lead to start, but the Vikings found themselves down by two at the end of the first period, 17-15.
The second period had the Vikings tighten up their defense and their shots started to fall and they were leading at the half by seven, 37-30.
The third period had little change and Pleasant Grove kept the lead, 51-45. But then Worsham and the Silverwolves got going.
The 6-foot-7 Worsham was the workhorse on this night. His scoring and excellent defense kept his team in the game.
"This is the best game he has ever played," said Riverton coach Steve Galley.
Teammate Stephan Holm scored 15 points and Bryce Stone added 13 points.
"Now, we need to beat Lehi on Tuesday and rely on American Fork to beat Pleasant Grove in order to still have chance to get to the playoffs," said Galley. "We're on a game-by-game basis right now. As long as we keep winning, we'll keep on playing."
For Pleasant Grove, junior Forrest Pincock was the high scorer of the game with 19 points. Sophomore Riley Court had 16 points. And junior Matt Conway added 15.
"Frustrating. Just frustrating" is all Viking head coach Randy McAllister could say about the game. "I'll have to look at the film to see what broke down, especially on our boxing out on rebounding."Comment on this story
The win gives Riverton a 3-6 record in region play and an 11-11 record overall heading into its regular-season finale against Lehi. On the other hand, Pleasant Grove now has a 4-5 record in region and a 14-8 record overall. The Vikings are heading to a regular season-ending matchup on the road against American Fork on Tuesday.
"If we beat Lehi and the Cavemen beat the Vikings, we'll end up playing this game all over again to see who would end up in fourth place and earn a place at the state tournament," said Galley.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and covers Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.