PLEASANT GROVE — In the second round of region play for both teams, Pleasant Grove sent the Westlake Thunder back home with a 67-49 loss Tuesday night.
With another low-scoring first half, it took the Vikings and the Thunder a few minutes to get moving and to execute their game plans and defend their territory. Pleasant Grove hit seven field goals in the first but turned the ball over nine times, and that is not a recipe for success.
The Thunder had similar challenges. They led on the opening score with a trey from junior Cooper Mattson on their way to 10 points in the opening period. Tight defense on both sides of the court was very evident.
"Westlake is a great team," Pleasant Grove head coach Randy McAllister said.
PG assistant coach Derek Scoville agreed: "They beat Bingham and American Fork, and they will win more in this second round of region games."
In the second period, the Vikings held Westlake to just six points. Although the defense was better so was the defensive effort from the Thunder as the Vikes scored 10 points to lead 24-16 at the half.
The third period, Westlake outscored the Vikings 21-18 but still came up short in the long run with the Vikings holding the 42-37. Mattson scored 14 of the Thunder's 21 points in the period.
The final period had Pleasant Grove putting 25 final points on the board with Westlake going on for 12 points to finish its efforts. Of Pleasant Grove's last-period scoring, 10 points came from the free-throw line.
Mattson was the high point man on the court with 25 points while junior guard Jared McGregor scored seven points and junior forward Tre Christensen added six points.
Pleasant Grove's 7-foot-3 junior center Matt Van Komen was the high point man for the Vikings with 22 points, while junior guard Casey Brown contributed 15 points and junior guard Tyler Fairbanks added nine points.
"We knew Mattson was going to come out firing away, but if we could keep their other weapons covered, it would be pretty hard to beat us with only one player," Scoville said. "There is never an easy night in Region 4. You have to come out playing a great defensive game and rely on your offensive play to move you forward."
He continued, "Our defense played great tonight and shut down three out of four big players. That was key in this win."
Before this game, all five teams in Region 4 were listed in the top 20 teams in Class 6A rankings. Westlake falls to 2-3 in region and 11-9 overall, while Pleasant Grove improves to 3-2 in region play and 16-4 overall.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.