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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lone Peak's Conner Toolson puts up a shot. Brighton vs. Lone Peak, 5A high school state championship game Saturday, March 3, 2012 at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah.
5A boys’ basketball playoffs: Lone Peak repeats in dominant win over Brighton (video)

Knights leave Bengals in the dust, repeat as state champions.

First Published Mar 03 2012 06:29 pm • Last Updated Mar 04 2012 12:15 am

West Valley City • It would be easy to talk about Lone Peak’s game in superlatives — the best, the most dominant, the most lopsided ­— but the final score of the Class 5A boys’ championship speaks for itself.

Lone Peak 68, Brighton 38.

At a glance

Lone Peak 68, Brighton 38

» The Knights burn Brighton from long range, pouring in 14 3-pointers.

» T.J. Haws leads the team with 24 points.

» Lone Peak shuts down Brandon Miller, holding him to 10 points and no 3-pointers.

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Not even close.

"I have no idea if this is our best game or not," sophomore T.J. Haws said. "You know, we wanted to come out aggressive, and we just felt good today."

If the Knights felt good, they played even better in the blowout, shooting the Bengals out of the gym Saturday afternoon at the Maverik Center for the program’s second straight title. It was much less a championship game than an exhibition of just how well Lone Peak can play.

The shooting line alone was jaw-dropping, as the Knights were 14-for-30 from 3-point range with nine in the first half alone. Lone Peak’s stars shined the brightest, as Haws finished with 24 points ­— 22 in the first half — Nick Emery finished with 16 points, and Talon Shumway had 13.

It seemed as though Lone Peak were determined to prove something — that it wasn’t just going to waltz its way through a championship game expecting to win.


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"We’re the hardest-working team in the state," Emery said. "People think we’re just blessed with talent. No, we’re in the gym every day, working."

Emery fueled the Knights’ early start, hitting three 3-pointers on his way to 13 first-quarter points. By the end of the first quarter, it was a 26-10 deficit, and Lone Peak just kept piling on.

Haws heated up in the second quarter, unleashing from 3-point range to crunch the Bengals, who seemed at a loss in the early going. Haws hit a long 3-pointer right before the buzzer to put up the Knights by 30 points at halftime.

"People talk about his red hair," Emery said. "He was red hot."

Lone Peak didn’t even let up in the second half, going on an 11-0 run to push the lead up to 41 points. The exclamation point was a Haws dunk, and it was the biggest margin of the game.

Star Bengals guard Brandon Miller was barely a factor, finishing with 10 points — only four in the second half — and going 0-for-10 from 3-point range after hitting at least one 3-pointer in all but one game this year. Senior guard Zach Wertz led the team with 11 points.

The nets weren’t even cut down before the buzz of a three-peat started to circulate among the cheering Lone Peak crowd. Emery, Haws and Shumway all return, and 6-foot-8 center Eric Mika will be eligible. Both Emery and Haws hoped that a third straight championship was in the future.

Coach Quincy Lewis was focused more on savoring the present.

"I’m thinking about sleeping in tomorrow," he said. "It’s way too early to think about next year. I’m just enjoying this one."

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



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