OREM The Mountain View boys basketball team's rebuilding project got another boost on Tuesday when the Bruins got an important preseason win against a cross-town rival.
Mountain View opened up a big lead against Timpanogos and then hung on down the stretch for a 61-58 win. It's the third-straight for the Bruins and improves their overall record to 5-1. That's not a bad place to be after last year's one-win season.
After a shaky start, Mountain View out-shot, out-hustled, and especially out-muscled Timpanogos. The biggest difference in the final score was free throw shooting. The Bruins got to the line 15 more times than the T-Wolves, and hit nine more free throw shots.
"They had a lot of energy coming in," said Mountain View coach Jeff Gardner. "Our kids offensively are aggressive to the basket. Throughout the year we have gotten to the line a lot."
The important stretch of the game came at the end of the first quarter and into the second. After falling behind a couple of baskets early, the Bruins tied the game back up, then went on a 17-1 run. Three-point shots by Greg May and Cameron Schmidt keyed the run, while Timpanogos couldn't get anything offensively.
"That stretch was huge for us," said Gardner. "We've had in the last three or four games stretches where our defense has allowed us to extend a lead and maintain a lead."
Mountain View led by 14 at halftime and pushed the lead to as many as 19 points early in the third quarter.
The T-Wolves started to make a run midway through the third, and cut the lead down to seven points. Colton Willman's three-point shot early in the fourth quarter cut the lead down to five, but that was as close as Timpanogos could get until the dying seconds.
The Bruins hit their free throws and took care of the ball enough to stay in front. A Timpanogos consolation basket at the buzzer accounted for the final point spread.
The T-Wolves' biggest problem was foul trouble. Geoff Ritter and Willman both fouled out early in the fourth quarter, and leading scorer Skyler Halford picked up his fifth foul on a charge a few minutes later.
"Our guys did a good job of stepping over and taking a charge or two," said Gardner.
Mountain View got a balanced scoring effort, with 14 points from Schmidt and Adam Lewis. May added 12 points for the Bruins. Halford led all scorers with 19 points and Trevor Thomas had 15 for Timpanogos.