Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lone Peak's Talon Shumway, T.J. Haws, Eric Mika, Conner Toolson and Nick Emery pose for a portrait after a practice at Monday February 18, 2013.
Prep boys’ basketball: Lone Peak the best team in Utah history (with video)
Prep boys’ basketball » Lone Peak played — and defeated — some of the nation’s top teams.
First Published Feb 24 2013 07:12 pm • Last Updated Feb 25 2013 08:35 pm

Highland • Conventional wisdom is a series of ideas or explanations widely regarded as fact by the general populace.

So in the realm of Utah high school basketball, conventional wisdom now states that the Lone Peak Knights are the best team to ever come out of this state.

At a glance

5A state tournament

Monday at Weber State

9:30 a.m. » Bingham vs. Alta

11:10 a.m. » West vs. Weber

12:50 p.m. » Syracuse vs. Hunter

2:30 p.m. » Jordan vs. American Fork

4:10 p.m. » Davis vs. Kearns

5:50 p.m. » West Jordan vs. Lone Peak

7:30 p.m. » Pleasant Grove vs. Brighton

9:10 p.m. » Viewmont vs. Northridge

4A state tournament

Tuesday at Weber State

9:30 a.m. » East vs. Murray

11:10 a.m. » Logan vs. Orem

12:50 p.m. » Maple Mountain vs. Mountain Crest

2:30 p.m. » Herriman vs. Highland

4:10 p.m. » Springville vs. Roy

5:50 p.m. » Westlake vs. Bountiful

7:30 p.m. » Woods Cross vs.Olympus

9:10 p.m. » Sky View vs. Timpview

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

And the body of work does all the talking.

They’ve dominated on national TV, they’ve won national dunk contests and 3-point shootouts and earned more sky miles than they ever imagined, doing so with an exhilarating two-way style of play unforeseen in the prep ranks.

"I feel like we don’t know how to play any different," senior forward Talon Shumway said.

These Knights couldn’t if they tried.

They’ve been tabbed as the No. 1 team in America by MaxPreps.com for several weeks. They haven’t lost an in-state game since Feb. 10, 2012. They have supreme talent, mixed with an unrelenting work ethic and a coach who doesn’t take off one second.

Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis already has enough state title rings for an entire hand, having won five during his tenure as coach of the Highland-based program. He’s coached future college stars, an NBA draftee and now has the best high school team to ever come through Utah at his disposal for just six more days.

When the subject of best ever came up, he pointed out Jim Spencer’s Provo High teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s. He mentioned the Murray Spartans and their run toward dominance when brothers Jeff and Britton Johnsen headlined the state and even mentioned Timpview’s dominance in the late 1980s.

"It’s unfair to be able to say," Lewis said. "Those were fantastic teams. I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re the best ever when I know how good they were."


story continues below
story continues below

But no team had Eric Mika steamrolling down the paint. No team had Nick Emery spotting up from 30 feet out. No team had TJ Haws crossing over helpless defenders.

"Playing with these guys is just unreal," starting senior sharpshooter Conner Toolson said.

At 22-1, Lone Peak has changed the landscape of Utah high school hoops. The Knights have won nine out of 10 national tournament games this season. They snapped a 61-game win streak held by Pennsylvania program Chester during a memorable run toward the City of Palms Classic title game in Ft. Myers, Fla., in late December.

"It’s like watching a college team play," ESPN.com scout Reggie Rankin said.

And this group is more than just the flash it shows on the court, more than the alley-oops or the head-shaking 3-point shooting. This group wants to be known as a great team that plays hard. In a recent practice, it took all of 10 minutes before the 6-foot-10 mountainous Mika had to quell a fountain of blood from both nostrils with balled-up tissue paper.

"I think that’s why we play so well is because our practices are so hard," he said. "We can all push each other to our highest level."

Pushing and molding rare talent is one thing. Keeping a group of high school kids who can play like a video game grounded is another, and Lewis knows this. He calls it "the daily conversation."

"And our guys understand that," he said.

This is evident — and a bit scary — when Haws, the lone junior in Lone Peak’s starting five, said his team still has a lot to prove with the 5A tournament getting under way Monday on the campus of Weber State University.

"I think it’s being ready every single game," he said when asked about the team’s most-pressing challenge this season. "Sometimes it’s hard to stay mentally focused."

That may be the case from time to time, but the Knights certainly know how to snap out of a mini funk. Since their lone loss of the season — a 66-45 setback to Montverde Academy in Ft. Myers — they’ve won 12 straight games and eclipsed the 90-point mark three times.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.