Dallin played a real good game for us. —Lehi coach Sean Yeager on Dallin Holker
LEHI — The Lehi men's basketball team utilizes a style of play that lends to big scoring runs and a lot of points, which can be both good and bad at varying times throughout any given game. Such was the case during Tuesday's 79-67 win over Spanish Fork, which left Pioneer coach Sean Yeager ultimately relieved to come out on top.
"Yeah, it can work well for us, but it can also work well for the other team if you don't watch out," Yeager said of his team's breakneck pace. "Spanish Fork is a real good team and they gave us a good scare tonight."
The biggest scare came toward the end of the third quarter, when a 3-point play by Dons big-man Bridger Noles cut the Pioneers' lead to just 52-51. Noles scored every one of Spanish Forks' 21 points in the third quarter, doing most of his work around the basket and leaving Yeager roundly impressed.
"He looked good on film, but man, playing against him. That's a really, really good player and he gave us all we could handle tonight," Yeager said of Noles, who scored a game-high 37 points on Tuesday.
Lehi's Dallin Holker ended the third quarter with a basket, giving his team a three-point lead entering the final period.
Things remained close in the early stages of the fourth quarter before a quick 8-0 run by Lehi extended its lead to 66-55 with just over five minutes remaining. Holker contributed a 3-point play during the run, while Kade Moore swished through a 3-pointer.
"Dallin played a real good game for us," Yeager said of the 5A football MVP, who was honored as such at halftime of Tuesday's game. "We love having athletes that play both sports. Guys like Kade and Dallin — they played big roles on the football team and they're big parts of what we do."
Moore finished with 10 points, while Holker tied freshman Noa Gonsalves with a team-high 20. As for Gonsalves, he did his best work from the perimeter and hit three big 3-pointers.
"He's a real quiet and humble kid who doesn't talk much, but he can shoot and knows how to help us out there. We're lucky to have him," Yeager said of his freshman.
The visiting Dons wouldn't get to within more than nine points after Lehi built back up its lead early in the fourth quarter. With the win, Lehi starts Region 10 play with a big home win in front of a relatively big and loud Pioneer home crowd.
"There's a lot of excitement here with what the football team did, winning a state championship, and I'm just so thankful for all of them who came out tonight," Yeager said. "It's great to start region play with a win. With how tough this region is, you have to win your home games, and fortunately we did that tonight against a really good Spanish Fork team."
Next up for Lehi is a game at Salem Hills on Friday, while Spanish Fork will return home to take on Uintah.