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Riverton scores big in 3rd to win

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Riverton's Corey Cardwell rises up to pass the ball to a teammate during game with Pleasant Grove.

Riverton’s Corey Cardwell rises up to pass the ball to a teammate during game with Pleasant Grove.

Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News

OGDEN — The Riverton High student buses arrived at the Dee Events Center about 30 minutes late Tuesday, but the load of Silverwolves fans that piled into their seats at halftime got there just in time for the main show — a 21-5 third quarter that vaulted Riverton to a 5A first-round win over once top-ranked Pleasant Grove.

The decisive period, in which the Silverwolves held the Vikings to only one field goal, erased a three-point halftime deficit and set up a final quarter with a comfortable 13-point lead. In a preseason loss to Pleasant Grove, the Silverwolves tried to run with the Vikings. The second time around they figured a more deliberate approach might be more effective.

"We really thought this game was about stopping them and then hoping offensively that we could create a tempo that was something they weren't used to," Riverton coach Steve Galley said. "They score a ton of points, but we got some stops and hit the boards."

The two teams' shooting statistics tell the story. Riverton hit 46 percent of its field goals while the Vikings made only 33 percent of their attempts — which included a paltry six of 27 in the second half, or 22 percent.

"We really just locked down on defense," said Riverton center Morgan Grim, who finished with a game-high 26 points and 13 rebounds.

The Silverwolves also outrebounded the Vikings by a stunning 19 boards.

"Doing that against a team that can score like that, that just gives you a good shot to win," Galley said.

With four in-close buckets from Grim and 3-pointers from Corey Cardwell and Kace Cram, the Silverwolves finished the first quarter up 14-9. But Pleasant Grove scored the final four points of the period and then opened the second with an 8-0 run to take a three-point lead. When Tallon Robertson (19 points) hit two free throws moments later, Pleasant Grove was up by five. But Grim, with four more hoops in the quarter, cut the lead to three at the break.

The Vikings started the third with two free throws from Craig Tucker, but for the next few minutes it was all Riverton. Two treys by Cardwell ignited a 10-0 run that vaulted the Silverwolves ahead by five. A three by Robertson stopped Pleasant Grove's bleeding temporarily, but the Silverwolves then scored the final 11 points of the period. The stretch was highlighted by a trey from Marco Trujillo and an alley-oop dunk by Grim.

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Pleasant Grove mounted a final charge with C.J. Wilcox (19 points) scoring seven of the first 10 fourth-quarter points, and a dunk by Robertson cutting Riverton's lead to 49-42. But the Silverwolves kept the Vikings at a safe distance by making 16 of 20 free throws from that point on.

E-mail: jimr@desnews.com