Prep boys' basketball: Lone Peak's offense ignites vs. Bingham
Highland • Being Utah's top-ranked team is a tough job.
After thumping Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) on Monday morning at the Spalding Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, Mass., in front of a nationally-televised audience, the Lone Peak Knights awaited a cross-country flight, and, more importantly, a showdown with region rival Bingham.
The Knights returned home around midnight Tuesday and had a very quick turnaround against a feisty 11-win Miner team at home that night.
But Lone Peak didn't show any fatigue.
The Knights instead did something they hadn't done all year they eclipsed the 90-point mark in their 92-57 win over Bingham on Tuesday night to improve to 16-1.
"I was really happy that our guys were tough enough to be on the road and travel for 12 hours and to come back and have that type of a game," Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis said. "Bingham is not a bad team, we just did a good job."
Junior guard TJ Haws and senior center Eric Mika led the way, pacing the Knights with 24 points apiece in the rout.
But a notable story line from Tuesday night was the ejection of senior guard Nick Emery in the second quarter.
Lone Peak's all-time leading scorer was assessed a technical foul early in the first quarter after a hard foul on a Bingham player moments after Emery appeared to be on the receiving end of an equally rough foul that wasn't whistled.
The second technical that led to his ejection came with 49 seconds left in the second quarter. Emery once again was fouled hard while on the receiving end of an around-the-back pass from Haws under the basket. With the Bingham player draped over him, Emery appeared to give him a push and was whistled for his second technical foul.
He was not made available for comment after the game.
"Bottom line is no matter what anybody does to him, he can't react that way. It's that simple," Lewis said, adding that he'd have to watch the tape to see if either of the calls was worthy of a technical.
Lewis said Lone Peak would have to wait to see if the state's rules on ejections mandate a mandatory one-game suspension for Emery. The Knights are scheduled to host Lehi on Friday.
Haws, who scored 13 points in the first quarter, said his team learned that it has to be "mentally tough" as the season wears on.
"Teams are going to come out and give us their best shot, and they're going to try and get into our heads and do whatever it takes to beat us," he said. "We just have to make sure we keep our cool."
Along with Mika and Haws, Lone Peak's offensive explosion came with Emery the team's leading scorer. He finished with eight points in less than a half of action. Seniors Talon Shumway and Conner Toolson finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
If Emery is absent from Friday's game, Lone Peak has the luxury of multiple scoring options. Included in that is the hot hand of Toolson, who has hit eight 3-pointers in his last two games.
"My shot's felt good," he said, "so I've just kept shooting."
When asked to assess the outing that produced both the best offensive output of the season along with the ejection of his star player, Lewis laughed and said, "Twilight Zone game."