It was Senior Night for the Pleasant Grove Vikings and the starters were seniors excited to do their best in front of the home crowd. Thanks to Alan Hamson, Vikings great 7-foot center, the Vikings won the opening tip and kept the game tied a couple of times during the first period. American Fork tightened up its defense and slowly pulled away from the Vikings.
Zac Hunter, one of American Fork's talented seniors, scored six of his team-high 13 points in the first period, one on a great alley oop slam that immediately answered a Hamson slam dunk on the other end of the court. Both scores got the crowd involved in a hurry.
At the end of the half, the Cavemen were up by eight, 26-18. The Vikings came out cold in the third period. Hamson scored eight of PG's 10 points while American Fork dialed up 18. The last period was the best scoring period for both teams, as the Vikings scored 21 points against 16 from the Cavemen, but AF got the win.
Hamson was high scorer on the court with 17 points, with senior Nate Sampson added nine points in the effort. Hunter lead the Cavemen with 13 points, senior Quincy Bair added 12 points and fellow seniors Danny Beddes and Marcel Davis both tossed in 11 points apiece.
Caveman coach Doug Mecham was happy for his boys. "They improved their defense and started gaining confidence, and they bought in to the idea of staying on top. This game is like what the state tournament is going to be like. They are going to have to get in and grind out wins. It's not going to be easy in 5A."
Viking head coach Randy McAllister was supportive of his team. "After so many setbacks, it's hard not to fold up the tents and go home, but these guys didn't give up and they kept coming back, working hard in practice, games and everything they were asked to do. I'm proud to have worked with them this year."
For the Cavemen, they won the coin toss as to who would enter the state tournament as first place in Region 4 and No. 1 in state rankings. Lone Peak shares the region championship but is listed as No. 4 in state rankings.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and follows and reports on Viking varsity sports for Deseret Connect.