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So easy, the Cavemen can do it

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American Fork's Kaycee Mansfield, right, pulls down a rebound in front of Mt. View's Jaimie Stroshine.

American Fork’s Kaycee Mansfield, right, pulls down a rebound in front of Mt. View’s Jaimie Stroshine.

Keith Johnson, Deseret Morning News

AMERICAN FORK — It was time for sweet revenge as the American Fork girls basketball team knocked off Mountain View 50-37 to split the regular season and put themselves in the driver's seat as far as playoff seeding in Region 4 is concerned.

First and second place are out of reach for the Cavemen, but they have now improved their record to 4-5 and are currently alone holding onto third place in the league. They are being chased by Pleasant Grove, which is 3-5, but now Mountain View is simply hoping to top Pleasant Grove to give themselves a chance at a tournament berth in fourth place as they dropped to 2-7 with one game left against the Vikings next Tuesday. American Fork will take on Spanish Fork that same night in its final game.

During the first meeting of the year, Mountain View came out with a stingy three-two zone defense and upset the solid Caveman team. But this time around, the Cavemen were prepared for the zone and even made the Bruins abandon it in the second half.

"That's a tough game to win when we knew we had to. We were tight in the beginning and then started executing against the zone. Then we got them to come out of the zone, and it opened things up," said American Fork coach Corey Clayton.

He added that this time his team made shots and knew how to attack the zone, which they weren't prepared for the first time the two teams played.

But it wasn't a slam dunk for American Fork in this one either. Neither team came out well in the first period. Mountain View held onto their zone, and their stingy defense held the Cavemen to only six first quarter points.

But they were only able to come up with eight of their own during the same stretch.

Things opened up in the second quarter for both teams, but it was still close as American Fork's Kaycee Mansfield and Mountain View's Chelsea Tressler battled back and forth, each scoring 12 points for her team in the opening half.

Mansfield finished with 19 in the game, but Tressler was held scoreless in the second half.

While the American Fork girls were breaking down the Mountain View defense, they were playing some pretty decent defense of their own in shutting down Bruins' leading scorer Jamie Stroshine completely until the second half. She scored her first point in the third but didn't knock down a field goal until the fourth en route to seven total points.

The game was still close as the two teams headed into the fourth at 37-29 American Fork. But then Haley Holmstead came to life, heating up with eight points in the fourth and finishing with 14 total.

"Our goal is to get into the state tournament," said Clayton, adding, "that's a big step for us."

Unless several things happen in the next week, the American Fork girls should be solidly in place for that coveted tournament berth.

E-mail: jolsen@desnews.com