OREM When going to a Utah County girls basketball game, don't try to predict anything. More often than not you'll be wrong. After all of the upsets in Region 4 last week, things were supposed to settle down just a bit this week, but then Pleasant Grove came out with a powerful attack and toppled No. 5 Timpanogos 57-48 with intense defense, great rebounding and solid shot making.
Last week the Vikings were drubbed by 3-10 Spanish Fork and the Dons' 39 offensive rebounds. The T-Wolves played an intense game in upsetting then No. 3 Lone Peak by three after taking a 17-point lead in the third quarter. By all accounts the two teams were going in opposite directions with Timpanogos skyrocketing up the rankings.
And most of the first half went along with that hypothesis as the T-Wolves jumped out early and led by as much as 11 during a solid stretch in the second quarter. But it was all from the outside as the T-Wolves found it almost impossible to penetrate the Pleasant Grove defense. The T-Wolves only managed three buckets in the paint and only one on the break. They finished with 13 total field goals, including eight from behind the line.
The first five field goals in the game all came from 3land with Timpanogos draining three and Pleasant Grove lighting it up for two. At the end of the first quarter the TWolves found themselves with a 14-11 lead and were feeling pretty confident.
Then the second quarter rolled around and it was all Megan Bishop as she poured in eight straight including a pair of treys, giving her four for the game. She finished with a team-high 14.
But the Vikings clawed themselves back into it and snatched their first lead of the game at 29-28 with one minute remaining in the first half. They were feeling pretty good after securing the 31-31 tie going into the locker room. And those good feelings multiplied in the second half.
"They were beating our zone with the outside shot, so we switched to a man, and our man worked," said Pleasant Grove coach Glenn Larson, who noted that he had given his team a nice long lesson in rebounding after watching game film of their Spanish Fork loss.
And the rebounding discussion didn't go unnoticed by Sarah Clement, who finished with 16 points for the Vikings, seven coming off rebound put backs. Her aggressiveness was key to the Pleasant Grove victory.
"I told the girls in our post game talk that if I had an unlimited budget and a game ball to give out, I would give it to Sarah," said Larson about one of his twin tower posts.
The other, Jennifer Hamson, was busy keeping the Timpanogos posts away from the basket as the Amy Weitzeil and Morgan Bishop only managed six points together. Hamson stuffed seven shots in the process.
Whitney Giles played her usual game, finishing with 17 points on a variety of moves, and including three treys, and after the Vikings slid out to a 47-40 lead at the end of the third, they really started believing they could win it.
"I tell the girls they need to realize you can beat anybody, but you can also lose to anybody," said Larson, who is also coaching a team that is now a little shorthanded as his back up point guard went down with a knee injury.
"Krystal Carter (the starting point) did a great job. I kept asking her if she could keep going and she just kept going," he noted of the player that finished with 10 points and a pair of 3-pointers.The Vikings took a 13-point lead with just over a minute left, but then Amanda Larsen heated up, sinking a pair from behind the arc and cutting it to seven with 20 seconds to go. She finished with 12 as did tough Noelle Sanders, who started the T-Wolves off strong with a pair of threes in the first quarter. Both teams now find themselves 2-1 in Region 4 competition.