SALT LAKE CITY — Hayden DeHoyos picked a heck of a night to score a career high.
Riding a very frustrating cold streak, the Pleasant Grove senior came into Friday’s 5A semifinal having scored just one point in the past three games.
That one point came in a first-round win over Layton, and in Thursday’s quarterfinals he posted a goose egg.
“He hasn’t been on for weeks. He’s been struggling on his shot and working on it,” said Pleasant Grove Randy McAllister.
That all changed Friday as DeHoyos buried 4 of 5 from 3-point range on his way to a career-high 14 points. In fact, he hadn’t scored in double figures all year, coming into Friday’s game averaging just 3.2 ppg.
There were signs Friday afternoon that DeHoyos was poised to burst out of the slump.
At the team’s shoot around Friday, DeHoyos and two of his teammates were required to make 100 3-pointers before they could leave.
“He was taking forever. He was the last guy there,” said McAllister, who said everyone started teasing him to hurry, reminding him they had a game that night.
As DeHoyos got closer to 100, the coaching staff pointed out a few things and he proceeded to make 16 of 18 to get to 100. He told his coach, ‘I think I’m back.’
He most certainly was. DeHoyos made his first three shots — two of which were 3-pointers — to score eight of Pleasant Grove’s first 12 points.
Two weeks ago he was held scoreless in the regular season finale against American Fork, and you can bet the Cavemen were shocked by his hot start.
He didn’t score again until early in the third quarter, but his 3-pointer tied the score at 32-32 to ignite the Viking offense.
His final offensive contributions was perhaps his biggest, a 3-pointer with 4:58 remaining in the game that put Pleasant Grove ahead 57-49 — its biggest lead of the game.
“That’s the beauty of this team, our eighth man can do that,” said DeHoyos.