HERRIMAN — A clutch performance from top players. Another key region win on the road. An unsatisfied coach at the game’s conclusion.
Despite his players posting a 75-67 win over Herriman Tuesday night, Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister had plenty to harp about afterward.
Chief among McAllister’s concerns was his team’s inability to hold a lead late.
The Vikings led comfortably throughout most of the second half until Mustang star swingman David Maynard helped engineer a late comeback. Two made free throws by Maynard at the 3:50 mark of the fourth quarter gave Herriman a 60-59 lead — its first advantage since the game’s first quarter.
“Maynard is a phenomenal high school player and can make shots from just about anywhere, but we can’t do that. We can’t give up leads late like that,” McAllister said.
Fortunately for the Vikings, they have players that are used to responding late — namely guards Riley Court and Forrest Pincock.
Court quickly got the lead back for his team after Maynard’s two free throws with a 3-point bucket from the top of the key. After a defensive stop, Pincock drained a corner trey and Pleasant Grove led 65-60 with just less than three minutes remaining.
“You can’t hit a shot unless someone gives it to you in a good spot, and I was fortunate to have that late,” Pincock said. “The key to our team is our unselfishness and it's been that way all year.”
After Pincock’s 3-pointer, forward Matt Conway took over, scoring six straight points to put the game on ice.
Conway led Pleasant Grove with 22 points, with Court and Pincock adding 16 and 10 points, respectively. Maynard scored a game-high 34 points for the Mustangs.
With the win, Pleasant Grove remains tied with Lone Peak on top of Region 4 with just one game remaining. Due to the playoffs being right around the corner, McAllister’s focus is improving every aspect of his team’s play.Comment on this story
“We simply can’t give up leads like that in the end if we hope to go far in the tournament,“ he said. “Sure, it’s great to have those types of performances down the stretch, but I’d rather not talk about my team giving up the lead. We don’t give up the lead and we don’t need those big shots. Defense wins championships, and it‘s much easier to depend on five guys defending like they should instead of just one or two shots late.”
With the loss, Herriman falls to 5-6 in Region 4, but maintains fourth place in the league and a subsequent playoff berth with just one game remaining. Next up for the Mustangs is Lone Peak on the road this Friday.