AMERICAN FORK — Bountiful and American Fork are two teams that figure to be in the mix in their respective classifications until the final weekend of the season.
Their clash Wednesday night gave both coaches an opportunity to see how their teams measured up. American Fork definitely handled the moment with more poise.
Leading by one heading into the fourth quarter, the Cavemen pulled away quickly with outstanding offensive execution as they improved to 4-0 on the season with a 54-46 victory over the Braves.
American Fork coach Doug Meacham admits that being undefeated is nice, but he'd trade them all for the first victory in region. With as well as his team is playing on both ends of the court, region wins shouldn't be a problem.
"Bountiful is a really good team. All of them can shoot, so we just had to come out and play really good defense," said A.F.'s Marcel Davis, who scored 12 points and knocked down two 3-pointers.
American Fork finished with nine 3-pointers, and that proved to be the difference in a game where both teams shot 41 percent.
"Some nights the ball is going," said a smiling Meacham.
Turnovers were an issue for both teams, but particularly the Braves. They committed 14 of their 19 turnovers in the second half — including eight in the third quarter.
Despite all of those struggles, Bountiful was still very much in the game, only trailing 33-32 after three quarters. It didn't take American Fork long to pull away for good.
Davis extended the lead to 35-32 with a running jumper. Quincy Bair upped the advantage to 38-32 on a three-point play, and then Bair and Austin Waddoups connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to put American Fork in front 44-34 with 6:10 remaining.
"We were feeling it in the second half," said Davis.
Just as quickly, the Cavemen went cold, going scoreless over their next five possessions, but Bountiful couldn't cut the deficit to less than five as the home team hung on despite making only 8-of-15 free throws down the stretch.
Waddoups led the Cavemen with 13 points on three 3s.
Despite struggling late, Bountiful was the sharper of the teams early building a 21-13 lead midway late in the second quarter. American Fork used a 10-0 run to close the half and never trailed the rest of the game.
Bountiful was led by Dan Prawitt's 19 points, while sharp-shooter McKay LaSalle was limited to 12 points.