Orem Pleasant Grove tried to apply the knockout punch to Timpanogos Wednesday night, but the pesky T-Wolves wouldn't go away before the Vikings ultimately triumphed 57-52.
"We never play well here," said Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister. "The six years I've been in Utah this is one of the toughest places to play, so I knew it was going to be a close game. We got out to that early lead when the game started and I just knew that wasn't the way the game was going to go. Sure enough they battled back."
The T-Wolves (5-7, 1-1) scored first on Parker Brown's basket, but the Vikings ran off 12 unanswered points to take a 12-2 lead with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter.
Timpanogos responded with a 16-5 stretch over the next six minutes that included seven points by Skyler Halford, who finished with 25 to pull ahead 18-17.
"I'm proud of the way our kids battled and every time they got close or took a one- or two-point lead we came right back and battled with them," said McAllister. "We matched them punch for punch tonight."
Le Sean Wilcox provided a big punch at the halftime buzzer as he connected from mid-court to stretch a two point Viking lead to 29-24 at the break.
The Vikings (12-1, 2-0) stretched their lead to 12, the largest of the game, mid-way through the third quarter when Craig Tucker scored two of his 14 points. But the T-Wolves scored eight straight to pull back within five.
Halford's steal and fast break basket with just over three minutes remaining pulled the T-Wolves to within one at 51-50, but they couldn't get over the hump. Halford had an opportunity to tie the game inside the final minute, but his shot was blocked by C.J. Wilcox. "C.J. at the end did a phenomenal job because you know Halford's going to take the shot," said McAllister. "He did a great job defending and blocking that shot at the end."
Halford finished with 25 points for Timpanogos while C.J. Wilcox scored 15 and Le Sean Wilcox nine for the Vikings.