High school boys basketball: Pleasant Grove plays another nail biter, this time topping Riverton
Pleasant Grove's head basketball coach, Randy McAllister, said, "We just have to keep working at it. In Region 4, you can't take anyone for granted."
In the first period, both teams came out firing away but also putting up great defense. Vikings senior forward Brody Childs put in seven points and senior Matt McCarty added six which helped put Pleasant Grove up 18-11 when the next period began. That would end up being the Viking's widest lead. The second period went the same way, but Riverton caught up by two points so that the lead at the half was only five points at 30-25 for the Vikings.
Pleasant Grove put on a great half time presentation as they retired CJ Wilcox's basketball jersey, #23. Wilcox played basketball at Pleasant Grove from 2006 through 2009. McAllister mentioned that no one would ever wear his number ever again. Wilcox, upon graduation from Pleasant Grove High School in 2009, went to college at Washington. Upon graduation he was drafted No. 28 in the opening round of the 2014 NBA Draft and was picked up by the Los Angeles Clippers. Wilcox currently plays for the D league team for the Clippers in Canton.
The third period saw Riverton catch up to within two points of the Vikings as the scoring slowed down a bit when Pleasant Grove still led by two, 39-37. The last period was slower that the first three periods as both teams were trying to protect the Vikings' slim lead or catch up and surpass the scoreboard's projections. Errant passes and an untimely travel call given to Riverton spelled their doom. Pleasant Grove grabbed control of the last rebound and waited to hear the last 1.3 seconds of the game tick away.
"One good take away from this game," McAllister said, "You win close games, which is good practice for the play-offs, if we make it that far. Another take away is that you walk away with a win even though you may not be happy about the performance."
Riverton's senior guard, Joseph Andrews, scored high points on the floor with 15 points for the game, and senior Ryan Kesler was second on the team with eight points. Senior Chase Eggert added seven points.
Viking senior forward was high man for the team with 12 points, and seniors Matt McCarty and Kegan Coon added 10 points each in the Viking win.
Next week, Pleasant Grove will be on the road as they will play at American Fork on Tuesday and Lone Peak on Friday. Riverton will play at Westlake on Friday, Feb. 19, and end their season hosting Lone Peak on Tuesday, Feb. 23, beginning at 7 pm.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.