“We can’t get ourselves into these situations where we are so far behind,” said Viewmont coach Jeff Emery. “I will never doubt the effort by our team, but sometimes we just get into these problems and then we have to battle back.”
The Vikings did battle back even though they fell behind 28-17 at halftime. Northridge extended that lead by two points at 46-33 at the end of the third quarter. That’s when the Vikings came alive and began their climb from the abyss.
“The guys had a tough third quarter defensively, but in the fourth quarter we started to get things together,” Emery said.
With 1:41 to play and the Viking’s trailing by six points, a full court defense forced Northridge into a 10 second violation giving the ball back to Viewmont. The Vikings took advantage and when Coulsen Wright drove baseline and hit the basket, Viewmont trailed by just four points.
Northridge survived the next 90 seconds and escaped Bountiful with the win and the third seed out of Region 1.
“I am proud of the way the guys fought, especially in the fourth quarter, but we just aren’t the kind of team that can spot someone a huge lead like that,” Emery said.
One area that hurt Viewmont was second try chances where the Knights outscored the Vikings 10-1. Viewmont outscored Northridge in the paint 28-14, in points over turnovers, 15-11, and in bench scoring, 14-9.
“Those numbers show we did some good things out there,” Emery said. “But Northridge killed us from three point shots.”
The Knights hit 9-for-14 from behind the three point mark with Michael Goodrich hitting 4-for-4.
“I think they hit so many three pointers partly due to our poor defense, but credit to them for having the guts to step up and hit those kinds of shots,” Emery said. “It just seemed that everything Northridge put up at certain points of the game went in. And we still almost pulled it out.”
Emery had high praise for Kyle Richins.
“Richins came in off the bench and gave us a good life tonight,” Emery said. “I was happy for him.”
Kyle DeHart led the Vikings with 16 points and seven rebounds and two steals. Chase Christensen finished with 11 points and three assists. In 14 minutes, Wright had five points.
Viewmont is the fourth seed from Region 1.