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American Fork defense stifles Pleasant Grove, 65-57

SHARE American Fork defense stifles Pleasant Grove, 65-57

AMERICAN FORK — The American Fork boys basketball team did what few teams have been able to do this season in its 65-57 win over Pleasant Grove.

The Cavemen outran and outshot the Vikings, subjecting them to their worst offensive performance of the season.

American Fork's Spencer Shumway scored 27 points, including five 3-pointers, while Pleasant Grove went a dismal 0-15 from beyond the arc and struggled along to its lowest single-game point total of the year.

"This gives us a little bit of momentum," said Cavemen coach Doug Meacham.

The teams actually hit an identical number of field goals in the game, but the statistic didn't do justice to how well American Fork managed to contain Pleasant Grove's high-scoring offense.

The Vikings' second-leading scorer, C.J. Wilcox, was held to just four points, 11 under his season average, and his team scarcely hit anything from more than 10 feet away from the basket.

Brady Mason drew the defensive assignment of guarding Wilcox, and got most of the credit for keeping Pleasant Grove's star off balance.

"Mason did a great job defensively on C.J.," said Meacham. "They're a team that likes to drive to the basket. In the second half we moved our feet and forced them to take some jump shots."

Meanwhile, Shumway had an offensive explosion for the Cavemen, hitting 10 of 12 free throws in addition to his 3-point shooting.

"I just let the game come to me," said Shumway. "This is a huge win for us. I think we just wanted this one more than they did. This is a good time to be peaking."

American Fork took control of the game early on with seven first quarter points from Shumway, taking a 17-14 lead.

Pleasant Grove hit only one field goal in the second period, but stayed in the game thanks to free throw shooting. The Vikings got to the line 14 times, hitting 10 in the quarter and trailed 27-26 at halftime.

Some defensive adjustments by the Cavemen at halftime, kept Pleasant Grove off the free throw line, and the Vikings scoring dried up along with the charity shots.

Shumway hit two more big 3-pointers in the third quarter, and his final 3-pointer gave the Cavemen a 10-point lead and ended up being his team's last field goal of the game.

American Fork hit its free throws down the stretch and held the Vikings at bay in the final minutes.

"We're going to go with the guy who's feeling it. We don't have our one stud every night that we have to go to," said Meacham. "We shared the ball. We weren't trying to force things."