In watching Pleasant Grove run Layton ragged at the Huntsman Center Tuesday night, it would’ve been easy just to assume the Vikings were savvy tournament veterans who’d been in that situation many times.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Pleasant Grove has been notorious for first-round flops over the years, which is what made Tuesday’s 82-69 victory over Layton so satisfying for coach Randy McAllister.
“I’ve had enough stinky first round performances over the years,” joked McAllister after the game.
In fact, prior to Tuesday’s win, McAllister’s playoff record in 12 season as Pleasant Grove’s head coach was a paltry 1-9. That lone victory came back in 2009, when the Vikings beat Skyline 59-48 in the 5A first round at the E Center.
Other than that it’s been all first-round exits for P.G.
Pleasant Grove was an underdog in some of those eight opening-round losses, but that certainly wasn’t the case back in 2008. Led by senior C.J. Wilcox, the Vikings rolled into that tournament at the Dee Events Center with an 18-3 record and one of the teams to beat along with No. 1 Lone Peak.
It famously lost to Clearfield 52-47 in the shocker of the tourney.
After avoiding a letdown on Tuesday, the Vikings hope to build on that momentum and McAllister believes he has the team to make a deep run.
“This is probably the best team I’ve brought to this tournament. I’ve had better players … but I haven’t had as good of eight guys, and I fully expected this today and we expect to keep rolling,” said McAllister. “They believe in themselves. They’re not going to shy away from anybody this year. They think they’re as good as any team in the state so that’s kind of fun to see that confidence.”
Here’s a year-by-year at Pleasant Grove’s playoff record over the past 12 years:
2003 — L to American Fork 51-37 in first round
2004 — L to Bonneville 77-67 in the first round
2005 — DNQ
2006 — L to Skyline 39-33 in first round
2007 — L to Riverton 62-48 in the first round
2008 — L to Clearfield 52-47 in the first round
2009 — W over Skyline 59-48 in first round
2009 — L to Davis 60-54 in the quarterfinals
2010 — L to West Jordan 52-50 in first round
2011 — L to Lone Peak 58-33 in first round
2012 — DNQ
2013 — L to Brighton 70-55 in first round
2014 — W over Layton 82-69 in first round