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Pleasant Grove wins first region title since 1989

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HIGHLAND — About half the Pleasant Grove boys basketball team wasn't even alive the last time the school won a region championship in 1989. The Vikings have had some good teams since, but none good enough to bring home a championship trophy until this year.

With a 52-43 win over Lone Peak, the 2006 Pleasant Grove team wrote itself into the school history books and captured the outright Region 4 championship on Tuesday night. The Vikings were assured at least a tie for the championship with a win over Lone Peak, but Spanish Fork's loss to Mountain View leaves them alone atop the region standings.

"It's huge," said Pleasant Grove coach Randy McAllister. "Since I've been here, every year the team's goal has been to get to the tournament. This year's team had a goal to win the region championship. They were the first ones that had the confidence to make that a goal."

The Vikings' fans came out en masse to see if their team could clinch the title. Despite the game being played on the Knights' home floor, the Pleasant Grove student section was bigger than Lone Peak's, and the cheers from the Vikings fans toward the end of the game were the loudest anyone made all night.

Lone Peak actually led the game for most of the first half and had a 17-16 advantage at halftime with the game looking like it would be a low-scoring match. Pleasant Grove made a few changes at halftime, however, and put 18 points on the board in the third and fourth quarters. The Knights kept things interesting but couldn't keep up with the Vikings' pace down the stretch.

"We didn't make huge adjustments," said McAllister. "We talked about going up stronger with the ball, and our kids did a good job blocking the passing lanes."

The Vikings finally started to pull away at the end of the third quarter when Zach Brady hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 34-31 lead heading into the final period.

Pleasant Grove carried the momentum over and scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to go up by nine.

Lone Peak got baskets from Matt Bailey and Cory Chase to cut the lead back to five, but the Knights couldn't get some open shots to fall in the final minutes and never got any closer.

The loss ended Lone Peak's chances to make the playoffs just one year after winning a state championship.

Greg Thurgood and Tallon Robertson led Pleasant Grove with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

In their final game for Lone Peak, Chase had 16 points and Bailey added eight.