We just had a good game plan, and the kids executed it perfectly. —Viewmont head coach Clint Straatman
BOUNTIFUL — In a crucial Region 5 matchup between two teams that entered Wednesday’s game undefeated in region play, Viewmont's girls basketball team left no doubt about who is on top — at least for now — after a 56-41 win over Roy.
Mercedes Staples led the Vikings with 23 points, while her teammate Hannah Simonson added 11.
“She just says, ‘What do I need to do to help my team win,’ and she goes out and does that,” Viewmont head coach Clint Straatman said.
Out of the gate, Viewmont went on a 10-2 run to set the tone for the rest of the contest.
“We just had a good game plan, and the kids executed it perfectly, that’s pretty much all I can really say about that. We took advantage of a couple of areas. The kids just game-planned perfectly. I’m proud of them,” Straatman said.
The Vikings’ game plan clearly put a lot of emphasis on the defensive end, as Viewmont held the Royals to just 41 points, well below their season average of 53. In fact, the 41 points were the lowest-scoring output in a game so far this season for the Royals.
“We are probably an underrated defensive team. When these guys decide to play good, hard defense, they can do it. It doesn’t matter if we’re in a zone, or in man-to-man, when they decide to, they’re a really good defensive team, and that showed tonight,” Straatman said.
Viewmont flexed its defensive muscle in the fourth quarter when it held Roy to just two points — two Josie Williams free throws.
But in turn, the Royals allowed only one Viking bucket. Williams was the focal point of the Royal offense, scoring 20 points in the loss.
“The game plan was just to be active, and he (Straatman) was on us all practice yesterday, just, ‘Be active, be active,’ so I think that helped us a lot,” Staples said.
Even with a statement win under her team’s belt, Staples insisted it was just another game for the Vikings.
“It’s just another game, but we knew we had to battle, we knew they were good. They had Josie. She’s amazing, so we knew we just had to shut her down and take care of those 3-point shots that the guards take,” Staples said.
Viewmont will face Roy one more time this season on Feb. 9, in a game that could decide the regular-season region title.
“We hadn’t lost a region game either, neither had they, we were both undefeated. They’d won some pretty good games, and we’d won a couple of pretty good games on the road,” Straatman said. “It’s going to be nice to play at home. We like to play at home, and we will have Roy again at Roy, which will probably be for the region championship, I would bet. They’ll have a different game plan, and we’ll have a different team when we go up there, I’m pretty sure.”
Up next, Viewmont takes its 13-game win streak to Bountiful on Friday, while Roy hosts the Braves in the Royals’ next contest on Feb. 7.
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