SALT LAKE CITY — In this first Class 6A state semifinal game Friday night, Pleasant Grove played Copper Hills and put away the Grizzlies, 57-42, at the Jon M. Huntsman Center to move on to the championship round on Saturday against region foe Lone Peak.
Pleasant Grove and Copper Hills traded baskets for a few minutes, but with 2:11 remaining in the first quarter, the score was tied up 8-8. The defense was tight for both teams, but as time was running down, Viking junior guard Casey Brown picked up a loose ball and squared up for a beautiful trey that hit nothing but net to push the score to 13-11 as time ran out in period No. 1.
That was the first time the Vikings enjoyed the lead in the first period.
In the second period, the Vikings scored 14 points and held the Grizzlies to only seven points. At the half, the Vikings were up by nine, 27-18, on four field goals and two treys. Surprisingly, there were only five fouls called in the first half — two on Pleasant Grove and three on Copper Hills.
The evening before in one of the four quarterfinal games, Copper Hills junior forward Trevon Allfrey carried the team to victory over Fremont as he scored 31 points and had eight rebounds in a 65-53 win. Through the first half in this game, the Pleasant Grove defense kept Allfrey silent. In the second half, he was effective as he scored 15 points and led the Grizzlies in scoring honors. CH senior guard Ben Bittner added nine points on three treys.
During the third period, the Vikings slowed down a bit and let the Grizzlies back into the game. Although Pleasant Grove still had the lead, there was only a six-point difference, 37-31.
The Vikings needed to get their energy and momentum back to finish the game. Brown became the main tool to get the Vikings back into control. He scored the first two points of the period on his way to 11 total points for the period. He led all scorers with 25 points and was supported by junior center Matt Van Komen with 17 points and five rebounds.
At the end of the game, Pleasant Grove assistant coach Spencer Clement made the statement: "One more game, just one more game."
With the win, Pleasant Grove moves on to the championship game of the 6A state tournament and will play the Lone Peak Knights, who beat Layton Friday. The championship game will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Huntsman Center.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.