At the start of this region battle, all the energy and flow appeared to be with the Vikings as they hit their shots and played aggressive defense against a cold-shooting Silverwolves team. Ending the opening period, the Vikings were up 18-11 and in control of the boards and the game.
In the second period, something lit up senior guard Jeff Arens as he hit three treys that started the comeback for Riverton, but the Vikings still held the lead 31-30 at the half.
Riverton head coach Skyer Wilson said, "Yeah, Jeff is our sniper. We depend on him to keep us in the game when it gets tight. He plays well in big games." Arens ended the game with a team high score of 19 points. Senior Spencer Anderson and junior Joey Andrews both added 14 points each.
At the end of the game, Riverton outscored Pleasant Grove 37 to 28. With under three minutes remaining in the game, Viking big man Tylor Bott, a senior, fouled out of the game. With Bott gone, the Vikings made an impressive effort to stay close and got within two points, 56-54, but Riverton pulled away and held on for the win, 67-59.
Wilson explained, "You just can't keep the ball out of (Viking senior guard Riley) Court's hands. He is going to get his shots. Our game plan was to keep him covered at all times. But he is so hard to stop. Now we are in a dog fight through the end of the season, but welcome to Region 4."
The Vikings hit seven treys, 14 field goals and 10-of-16 free throws for 62.5 percent. Riverton hit nine treys, 16 field goals and made 8-of-12 free throws for 66.7 percent.
Pleasant Grove head coach Randy McCallister said they turned the ball over 17 times compared to Riverton's eight turnovers. "You can't win with that kind of problem. That is a recipe for disaster."
Coach Wilson ended with the thought, "In this region, there is not any game you cannot win and there isn't any team you can overlook."
Pleasant Grove now stands at 6-4 in region and 16-5 overall. It plays on the road next Tuesday at Lone Peak and will return home to finish out the season against Herriman High School.
The Silverwolves now have a region record of 5-5 with an overall record of 13-8. Riverton will play at American Fork next Tuesday and return home to finish the season playing Lone Peak.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and covers Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.