OGDEN If he didn't already have the label, Viewmont's Tommy Barrett is certainly wearing the big-time-player tag now.
Behind Barrett's tough interior defense and clutch shooting, most of which came in the second half, the Vikings knocked off the Spanish Fork Dons 63-55 Monday in an overtime thriller to advance to the 5A boys tournament quarterfinals.
Barrett scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half and hit the back-breaking 3-pointer in overtime that put Viewmont on top for good. The Vikings also held Spanish Fork scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, and Barrett's presence inside was mainly responsible for that.
"When he's active defensively, he's such a great athlete that he just starts making plays and gets a lot more aggressive on both ends of the floor," Viewmont coach Jeff Emery said of his senior post player. "And tonight he made some big plays for us down the wire."
However, it wasn't totally an all-Barrett show for Viewmont. In fact, at halftime the Vikings had only 19 points on the board and guard Davis Emery was responsible for 15 of those hitting four first-half treys to keep Viewmont within striking distance.
"We easily could have gone away a couple of times and let them take over, but the kids stayed with it and didn't go away. There's nothing more gratifying as a coach than to have your kids hang in there like that and then come away with a win," coach Emery said.
Still, most of the first three quarters belonged to Spanish Fork.
When Zach Clayton hit a 3-pointer from up top late in the first, the Dons led 16-4. Behind the solid inside play of Juan Vergara and Devon Nelson, and the outside shooting of Dallin Naulu and Matt Gardner, Spanish Fork stayed comfortably in front for most of the next two periods.
But Spanish Fork's offensive fortune disappeared in the fourth, and when Barrett hit a tough leaning baseline jumper with three minutes remaining, the Vikings led 40-39 the first time they were on top.
"We got a little bit perimeter-oriented and we weren't really attacking the glass, but the game turned around when we decided to be the aggressive team," coach Emery said.
A free throw by Nelson at the 1:55 mark the Dons' first point of the fourth period and two free throws by Vergara put Spanish Fork back ahead. The next minute saw three more lead changes.
But when Barrett drilled a fall-away jumper with a minute to play and Michael Evans followed with a fast-break layup seconds later, it appeared Viewmont would prevail in regulation.
Naulu, the Dons' outstanding floor general, had other ideas. With 23 ticks remaining and Spanish Fork trailing by three, he stepped back and swished in a 3-pointer from the right wing to knot the game 47-47.
Davis Emery opened the extra period with a dead-swish 3-pointer from up top. But the Dons then scored six straight, and when Naulu swiped a pass and raced down for a twisting reverse layup, Spanish Fork led 53-50.
From there, however, the tide turned Viewmont's way for good. A short jumper by Evans cut Spanish Fork's lead to 53-52. Then, following a Dons' turnover, Barrett took an off-balance, leaning 3- point shot from the right wing that found home putting Viewmont in front for good. The Vikings pulled away by sinking 6-of-8 free throws from there.
"It was a heck of a ballgame in that second half," Viewmont coach Emery said. "You had two solid ball teams that really wanted to win, and you had two ball teams that had players step up and make some big plays. We were just very fortunate that we were able to make maybe one or two plays more than they did."Davis Emery led all scorers with 22 points. Spanish Fork got 18 from Naulu and 17 from Gardner.
Top performer: Viewmont's Tommy Barrett scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half.
Key stat: The Vikings held Spanish Fork scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.Up next: Brighton (19-3), Wednesday, 4:10 p.m.
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