When Zach takes good shots, he’s tough to beat. He’s always been a very good offensive player, but he’s learned to be a good defensive player as well, which is really helping us. —Alta coach Jim Barker, on Zach Rollins
PLEASANT GROVE — The Alta Hawks are looking like legitimate 5A championship contenders during the early part of the high school boys basketball season. The Hawks traveled south Tuesday night to take on a tough Pleasant Grove squad and dispatched the Vikings with a comfortable 65-54 win to move to 3-0 on the year.
“This is a good win for us since Pleasant Grove is a very solid team that is well-coached,” said Alta coach Jim Barker. “I liked our defensive effort and our poise and this is a good road win for us.”
The Hawks received balanced scoring, led by seniors Zach Rollins and Trevor Hill, who scored 16 and 15 points, respectively. Sophomore Ibrahim Gerlach contributed 15 and senior Landon Albrecht added seven.
Alta led throughout, slowly building its lead with every quarter while keeping Pleasant Grove at a relatively comfortable distance. A 16-10 lead was extended to 31-23 at the half by virtue of a Rollins 3-pointer right before the buzzer.
“When Zach takes good shots, he’s tough to beat,” Barker said. “He’s always been a very good offensive player, but he’s learned to be a good defensive player as well, which is really helping us.”
Rollins started off the second half with another 3-pointer to push the lead to 34-23. The Vikings fought hard to keep the game from getting out of hand, but couldn’t quite get all the way back.
Overall, Barker was pleased with the second-half effort.
“It would have been nice to push the lead a little higher, but I think what you saw tonight was a calm senior team that knows how to play down the stretch,” he said. “We took good shots in the second half and mixed it up a little on defense to frustrate them a bit.”
Leading the way on defense was Hill and Albrecht.
“Trevor Hill is a good on-ball defender, and you saw that tonight, but I was particularly pleased with Landon,” Barker said. “Landon is very versatile for us and did great work tonight defending the post.”
With the win, the Hawks move to 3-0 and will next host Century (Idaho) Friday. Pleasant Grove drops to 2-1 and will take on Maple Mountain at home Friday.