He plays starter minutes, but we really think that he gives us a big liftoff of the bench, and that’s why we bring him off the bench because he comes in, gives us offensive firepower and it’s worked for us the second half of the season. —Viewmont head coach Jeff Emery on Josh Mordue
OGDEN — Viewmont High School pulled away from Springville, winning 73-55 on Monday at the Dee Events Center on the campus of Weber State University to advance to the quarterfinals against the winner of Olympus and Brighton.
Spencer MacKay scored 22 to lead the Vikings, but Viewmont’s second-highest scorer of the evening — Josh Mordue — came off the bench to score 21.
“He plays starter minutes, but we really think that he gives us a big liftoff of the bench, and that’s why we bring him off the bench because he comes in, gives us offensive firepower and it’s worked for us the second half of the season. I’m not the smartest guy in America, but I try not to be really stupid and change things up when they’re going decent,” Viewmont head coach Jeff Emery said.
Mordue’s first appearance in the game was met with chants of “Savior” by the Viewmont student section.
“I think a couple games back, they started calling me it, because they say I ‘save games.’ So, they call me the 'Savior', and I’m not mad at it,” Mordue said.
Mordue was certainly a savior of sorts on Monday night, giving the Vikings 19 crucial minutes of play.
“I’d say more than half of his games, for various reasons, we started bringing him off the bench, and he’s accepted that role and hasn’t hung his head and actually kind of taken a liking to it, I think, in a lot of ways. He doesn’t look at it as anything other than, hey, we’re going to come in and here we go,” Emery said.
Viewmont led Springville at the half, going into the locker room up 29-21 after the Vikings made a strong run to close the half and create some separation in a tight, back-and-forth game, which proved to be key for Viewmont’s confidence.
“That little spurt we got, to get a little bit of separation, I thought was huge, that last two minutes of the second quarter,” Emery said.
The Vikings stayed hot after halftime, starting off the third quarter with two 3-pointers, matching almost every made Springville basket with a basket of their own and building a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“We knew we had to come out and maintain our energy level and match, because number 11 (Ben Schreiner) starts knocking down some threes and number 4 (Jesse Hullinger) knocked down some perimeter shots, but I thought that we stayed with it and stayed consistent, and then they started missing a few and that helped us get some separation,” Emery said.
In the final quarter, Viewmont didn’t allow Springville to get close and ran away with the game.
“I thought we really responded. They knocked down two or three threes in a row, a couple of pull-up middle-of-the-game jump shots. We probably went four or five possessions without getting a stop, but we then turned around and got points at the other end, so that they were never able to get a lot of momentum behind some of those baskets, which is always huge down the stretch,” Emery said.