Sorenson’s solid, solid every game. She hits her open shots, rebounds the ball well, she’s a good player — a really good player. —Viewmont head coach Clint Straatman
BOUNTIFUL — On Wednesday night, Viewmont girl’s basketball set the tone for their game against Copper Hills early. The Vikings scored the first 12 points of the contest, en route to a 61-55 win over the Grizzlies.
“We were moving the ball and were moving the ball really good as a team, and were playing really, really good as a team. We didn’t care who got the ball or what we were doing, we just all helped each other out and got the ball to the open person and made our shots,” Viewmont head coach Clint Straatman said.
Clemson commit Mercedes Staples scored 21 points to lead Viewmont, and was the catalyst of the offense, especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
“She just took charge. She’s a senior, she’s been starting for me for four years, she knows what I want her to do, she knows what she has to do, she took charge, got the ball in her hands, made great decisions and that’s why she’s going to Clemson," Straatman said.
Staples’ teammate Melissa Sorenson added 20 points, combining with Staples to score 41 of Viewmont’s 61 points.
“Sorenson’s solid, solid every game. She hits her open shots, rebounds the ball well, she’s a good player — a really good player,” Straatman said.
Copper Hills tried to press Viewmont at times in the early stages of the game, but the Vikings consistently broke the press early.
“We’re good at press-breaking. We kind of like it when teams press us, we kind of hope people keep pressing us, we kind of like that style of ball, so they can keep doing that all they want,” Straatman said.
After Viewmont came out of the gates on a 12-0 run, Copper Hills punched back, going on a 7-3 run of its own, then hanging with Viewmont in the second quarter and third quarter. At the end of the third period, a 3-pointer by Breaunna Gillen — who tallied 15 points to lead Copper Hills — cut the Vikings' lead to five points.
In the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies made a late run and brought back the press, forcing Viewmont into turning the ball over a few times late in the game. Copper Hills went on a fast 6-0 run to trim the lead to just four points, but a basket from Sorenson built the lead back up to six, then two free throws from Staples pushed it to eight. After a Lenisi Fineanganofo basket, Viewmont’s Emma Carr calmly sank two free throws, but Gillen's and-one kept the Grizzlies in the game.
With 30 seconds remaining in the game, after Sorenson made two free throws to put Viewmont up by seven, Eleyana Tafisi nailed a 3-pointer, then a Copper Hills steal on the inbound sent Gillen to the line, where she made a free throw to pull the Grizzlies within three.
From there, Staples was sent to the free-throw line twice, making 3 of 4 to ice the game.
“We fought hard, and played together, and got the win, so I’m pretty proud of them,” Straatman said.