HIGHLAND The play of the Lone Peak Knights girls basketball team the past two weeks has pretty much decided which Region 4 teams are in the 5A playoffs and which are not.
However, the Knights have also done plenty to muddy the waters about which positions the four teams will have entering the postseason. With Friday's 44-41 win over Pleasant Grove, Lone Peak is now tied with the Vikings for third with 5-4 records and both teams are now only one game behind Timpanogos in the second spot with one game remaining. American Fork leads the league at 7-2.
The Knights took their time Friday getting in front of the Vikings, but once they did they never let Pleasant Grove get back ahead again. The Vikings, behind a strong inside game and tough inside defense, never trailed for three quarters. When Whitney Giles hit her second of five 3-pointers late in the third Pleasant Grove had built a 27-19 lead its largest of the game.
But Lone Peak quickly turned the momentum from there and finished the period on a 7-0 run. Amanda Farish scored four in the stretch and Shantel Flanary three.
The Knights wasted no time continuing their run in the fourth, and when Farish drilled a quick jumper Lone Peak had its first lead of the game at 28-27. Farish, who finished with a game-high 20, continued her hot streak and scored Lone Peak's next five points.
But Giles' bombing from outside kept the Vikings in the game. In fact, she tied the game twice in the fourth with tough 3-point baskets. Her last came at the three-minute mark to make it a 33-33 game.
Lone Peak knew it needed someone to step up and help Farish if the Knights were going to finish strong. That someone was junior guard Megan Smith, who scored all eight of her points in the final four minutes. Her two free throws with just under three minutes to play put Lone Peak on top for good.
Pleasant Grove, after Giles nailed an off-balance trey with 22 seconds left, actually had a final possession to send the game to overtime. However, Natalya Parke's hurried 3-point attempt at the buzzer glanced off strong.Giles finished as Pleasant Grove's top scorer with 17. The Knights finish at Lehi next week, while the Vikings have a tough contest with American Fork.