PLEASANT GROVE It was sure to be a battle for the Pleasant Grove Vikings as they knew that the Timpanogos Timberwolves can win games behind the play of junior guard Skyler Halford.
Halford delivered as promised in scoring a game-high 31 points for the T-Wolves (3-4, 7-10). But the Vikings (6-1, 16-2) matched that with a balanced attack that saw five players score in double figures to come away with an 86-71 win Wednesday night.
"Last game we decided to really needed to change our game and show our new Pleasant Grove team," said Vikings guard Brady Thurgood. "We didn't do that in the first half, but we came out in the second half and showed our new team pretty well."
LeSean Wilcox led the Vikings with 16 points, Thurgood, Adam Nielson and C.J. Wilcox had 14 points, and Craig Tucker added 11 points.
Pleasant Grove didn't have an easy win despite the final score. Trevor Thomas buried a baseline 3-pointer with 2:35 left in the game to cut the Vikings' lead to seven points.
"We can't ever get rid of those guys," said Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister of the T-Wolves' staying in the game late. "They always hang around."
A charge call on Pleasant Grove's LeSean Wilcox on its subsequent possession threatened to spoil the game. From there, though, C.J. Wilcox and LeSean Wilcox helped close out the game with a few fast break layups. The team, as a whole, hit its foul shots.
Toward the end of the first half, the Vikings finally started to take off in getting out to a 41-34 halftime lead. C.J. Wilcox had four points including a slam that sent the boisterous crowd rocking and a put-in after a missed foul shot from Nielson and Thurgood scored six points as part of a 15-8 run that closed out the half.
"I just saw the lane open and didn't worry about who was there," C.J. Wilcox said about his dunk. "I just started to rise up and finish."
After a sluggish start in which they were held scoreless the first three minutes of the game, the Vikings' defense hurt the T-Wolves in the front court especially in trying to set up the offense beyond the 3-point line. It helped the Vikings come back from an early deficit to tie the game early in the second quarter.
"They came out with that half-court trap, and I don't think our guys were mentally ready for it," McAllister said. "They were really aggressive, reaching for every ball and our guys weren't taking care of it. But we made a nice adjustment towards halftime and especially the second half."