PLEASANT GROVE — It wasn't quite the quadruple-overtime thriller Pleasant Grove endured last Friday versus Lehi, but it was sure close.
At the end of a back-and-forth showdown with American Fork, Matt Conway hit a free throw with 0.2 seconds remaining to give the Vikings a hard-fought 76-75 win over the Cavemen in double overtime Tuesday.
With just 2.6 seconds to work with and the game tied at 75-75 Conway received an inbounds pass at midcourt and surprisingly had a clear path all the way to the basket. Before making the would-be game winner, however, he was fouled just before the final horn blew.
Conway missed on his first attempt, but made true on his second — sending the home-court crowd into a frenzy as it rushed the court.
"I had confidence Matt would come through," said Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister. "He was big for us all night, but wow, what a crazy game. I don't know what it is about these overtime games, but it's a good thing that we came out on top of both of them because wins aren't easy to come by in this region."
Just four nights earlier, Pleasant Grove came out on top of an epic four-overtime game against Lehi, 109-107. It was something McAllister mentioned to his players throughout Tuesday's two overtime periods.
"I kept reminding the kids that we've been there before and we know how to get it done and come away with a win," he said. "I think that win against Lehi may have helped and I'm just proud of this team for pulling through like they did."
American Fork took charge early and built a 20-12 first-quarter lead before Pleasant Grove came storming back to trail by just a point, 30-29, at the half.
The Vikings took the lead back minutes into the third quarter and maintained it until Ryan Andrus hit a bucket with 40 seconds left in the game to tie it at 60-60. Pleasant Grove was unable to answer on its next possession — sending the game to overtime.
The teams swapped baskets throughout the first overtime, which ultimately ended with a 67-67 tie. The second OT period was largely the same before Conway's heroics.
"I don't know if we wanted to go through much more after what we experienced against Lehi," McAllister said. "American Fork is such a great team and Andrus is such a tough player for us. ... I'm just thankful to come away with a win against a tough region foe. It doesn't matter how we did it."
Andrus led the way for American Fork with a game-high 31 points. The 6-foot-9 center dominated on both ends and was aided by 6-foot-8 forward Tyler Rawson, who scored 23.
Conway led the Vikings with a team-high 25 points. Nate Didericksen added 12 on four 3-pointers with Forrest Pinnock chipping in 11.
With the win Pleasant Grove improves to 14-4 overall and 3-1 in region play. It will next travel to Riverton this Friday.
With the loss American Fork drops to 10-7 overall and 2-2 in region play. Next up for the Cavemen is a home game against Bingham this Friday.
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