PLEASANT GROVE — Pleasant Grove's players and coaches had no problem focusing on playing their best game in another tough Region 4 contest Friday night when they hosted Bingham, and the Vikings came out victorious 59-58.
Defense was the name of the game on both sides, and neither team could pull away. The Vikings kept the lead, but they could not shut down the long-distant scoring fro, the Miners who ripped the nets with nine treys during the game.
Junior guard Spencer Tueller led the Miners with three of the treys on his way to a team-high 15 points. Senior forward Brayden Cosper and senior guard Derek Soffe each contributed two treys apiece. In the third period, Soffe drained both of his shots beyond the arc, opening the gates as his teammates followed his lead and hit five more treys in the last period.
Pleasant Grove (17-5, 4-3) has a great weapon in the middle that makes it difficult to drive to the rim because he is able to block or challenge most shots that come his way. Junior center Matt Van Komen had four blocks just in the first period, lighting up the home crowd.
"He did a fantastic job protecting the basket and was a huge help in the middle," Pleasant Grove basketball coach Randy McAllister said.
Junior guard Casey Brown is another weapon for the Vikings with his quick passes and shots. He hit from distance and up close en route to a game-high 21 points. Van Komen added 12 points and sophomore guard Kael Mikkelsen dropped in 15 points.
"This was a big game for us as the winner would secure second place in region," McAllister said. "The loser can't be sure they would even make it into the tournament."
He continued, "Our guys had no problem focusing on this game. They were motivated big time and did not want to lose against these guys."
The Miners (11-12, 3-5) are done with region play, and the Vikings finish out the regular season at American Fork on Tuesday. The Cavemen beat Westlake 65-46 Friday.
If the Cavemen beat the Vikings next week, Pleasant Grove would remain in second place, but the Cavemen could trade places with the Miners for third and fourth place.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.