The Skyridge boys basketball team earned a win at home over the Vikings but bowed to the Cavemen on the road as they completed the first round of Region 3 action.
This game was close from start to finish, but the visitors had a narrow lead through much of the contest. The Vikings were up 16-14 after the first quarter, 32-30 at the half and 46-42 entering the final stanza. It was then that the Falcons turned it on and closed out a 24-13 run in the period to secure the win.
Senior forward Jackson Mosteller shot at an 80-percent clip and finished with 19 points plus three rebounds, five steals, two deflections and one block. Junior forward Jordan Kohler added 17 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Senior forward Ethan Gagon had nine points and three boards, senior guard Dane Housley scored eight with six assists and a block and sophomore Ryder Gentry tallied seven points with three rebounds.
“I was proud of our kids, bouncing back from an emotional game Friday and beating a really scrappy Pleasant Grove team,” said Coach Jeff Gardner. “Our inside players, Jackson Mosteller, Jordan Kohler and Ryder Gentry all had really productive games for us.
“Our guards did a good job handling the pressure and limiting turnovers especially in the second half,” the coach continued.“We didn’t have any turnovers in the fourth quarter which was a huge key for us.
“Defensively we were really scrappy and turned them over 20 times which was huge as well,” Gardner said. “Cohen Fountaine came in and gave us tough defense to close the game out.”
It was a close first quarter against the Cavemen with multiple ties, but the home squad was up 14-12 entering the second period. American Fork outshot the visitors after that and ended up leading 29-19 at the break.
The Falcons cut the deficit in half late in the third quarter and stayed in touch for a stretch, but the Cavemen did what they needed to as the clock wound down to finish off the win.
Senior guard Tate Larson sank five treys and led his team with 16 points plus two steals. Kohler netted 15 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Housley contributed 10 points with three boards and four assists.
“Give American Fork credit, their size and athleticism gave us trouble offensively,” said Gardner. “We turned the ball over more than normal and didn’t shoot the ball well. We also had a difficult time rebounding their misses.
“I liked the resiliency and fight in the second half,” he went on. “We cut it to five and had the ball multiple times to get the game to one possession. I am proud of our kids the first time through region, and we are looking forward to a bye week to get ready for the stretch run.”
The Falcons (8-10, 3-2) are tied with Lone Peak for third place in the Region 3 standings. Skyridge is currently No. 14 in the state RPI rankings.
The league took Tuesday off and the Falcons host Westlake on Friday (Feb. 2). The girls varsity will play at 6 p.m. and the boys game will immediately follow at about 7:30 p.m.