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Riverton • This was the week Pleasant Grove had circled from the start of Region 4 play. Two road games in 48 hours, against two of the best teams on the schedule in American Fork and Riverton.
Disappointment earlier in the week gave way to satisfaction and an almost certain second seed as the Vikings lumbered through a low-scoring game Thursday night to beat the Silverwolves 40-32.
"Since we hadn't lost in a while, it was sort of heartbreaking," Sara Hamson said of a nine-point loss to American Fork on Tuesday. "We had to refocus and play hard. It was a great game. Tight the whole way."
Hamson scored 15 points and Malia Brown and Malli Valgardson each added nine points for Pleasant Grove (12-7, 8-2), which needs one more win to secure the region's second seed.
Pleasant Grove's zone defense that was the difference. The Silverwolves (15-5, 6-4) went nearly six minutes without a basket in the fourth quarter and scored four points in the period. The 32 points were a season low for Riverton, which is tied with Lone Peak for third place in region.
"I was so proud of them," Pleasant Grove coach Stephanie Nixon said. "It seemed like we were a little bit off tonight, but I did see them fight. It was a dogfight to the end and that's what I loved seeing my girls get over the hump and learn how to fight and go get it."
Pleasant Grove locked down Riverton's inside game late, and forced the Silverwolves to settle for perimeter shots. Riverton went 0 for 7 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter, and 2 for 18 overall in the game.
On the offensive end, Pleasant Grove utilized its height advantage to dominate in the paint. The Vikings scored 30 points in the paint, compared to 10 for the Silverwolves.
"We always try to go inside-outside," Hamson said. "We look for points inside and kick it outside if it's not there."
Morgan Kane scored 11 of her game-high 20 points in the second quarter as Riverton made a run to tie the score at halftime.
Pleasant Grove 40, Riverton 32
• The Vikings scored 30 point in the paint to all but wrap up second place in Region 4.
• Morgan Kane scores 20 points for Riverton, which can secure the region's No. 3 seed with a win next week against Lone Peak.
• Plesant Grove held Riverton scoreless for more than 6 minutes in the fourth quarter, and allowed four points in the period.