Taylorsville • First-round curse? Lone Peak isn’t under a spell anymore.
The Knights took an early lead and held on for a 58-47 first-round win over Kearns in the Class 5A girls’ basketball tournament Tuesday morning at Salt Lake Community College. With the win, Lone Peak felt a sense of redemption after losing its first round games each of the past two seasons.
Lone Peak Wins
» Lone Peak advances for the first time in three years.
» Cami Simons leads the Knights with 17 points.
» Micaelee Orton scores 16 for Kearns in defeat.
"It feels like a fresh start," senior guard Lauren Lefrandt said. "We’re not overlooking anyone, and I think we’re definitely coming into our peak."
The Knights had a balanced effort against the Cougars, with four players scoring in double figures. Cami Simons led with 17 points, Karlie Taylor had 14, and Lefrandt and Talyn Bevell each added 11.
Inside and outside, Kearns had trouble stopping Lone Peak. Taylor helped control the post, blocking four shots, but the Knights also were hot from the perimeter and made six 3-pointers.
Moreover, Lone Peak played with confidence it hasn’t always seemed to have in the state tournament.
"We kind of downplayed everything leading into the tournament, and we just focused on the one goal of winning our first game," coach Keith Flood said. "I’m proud of our girls. I think we’ve been playing our best basketball at the end of the year."
Kearns didn’t roll over, however. The Cougars initially led the game, thanks to some turnovers and early baskets. Even after they surrendered the lead, the Cougars fought throughout. Micaelee Orton scored 16 points to lead Kearns.
But ultimately, Lone Peak managed to seal up a berth to Thursday’s quarterfinals, outscoring Kearns in every quarter.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.