Orem • The Lone Peak Knights shuffled off the court in a single-file line, faces solemn and voices silent. Few glanced at the scoreboard. They didn't need to. The unfamiliar feeling that now was settling in backed up what it read.
The Knights had just lost a basketball game.
And there would be no doubt about this: The Knights were outplayed. On Thursday, the first evening of the Great Western Shootout, the Overland Trailblazers traveled 498 miles from Aurora, Colo., to Orem and outplayed the Knights 12 miles from where the 2012-2013 national title shield hangs.
The proof that it actually happened was on the Knights' faces, just as surely as it was in their guts. But for those who were not in the brightly lit hallway north of the Orem gym to see the Knights after the game, the scoreboard put it succinctly enough: Trailblazers 70, Knights 63, 0:00, period 4.
"It's not a good feeling," said star shooting guard T.J. Haws, who finished with 26 points but struggled down the stretch.
The defeat was sudden. After playing out-of-sync early, the Knights took a seven-point lead into halftime. It looked like the Trailblazers would be another in a long line of good out-of-state teams to fall to the Knights' relentless basketball machine.
But then there were the second-half turnovers seven of them, to be exact. And there were the 10 missed 3s. The 24 combined points after the break from Trailblazers guard Jervae Robinson and center De'Ron Davis finally broke the Knights.
"We didn't put the knife in the heart when we had a chance," Knights coach Quincy Lewis said. "They're a good team, and you've got to take advantage of that when you have the opportunity."
Added Haws: "Late in the game, they made a run and we didn't respond."
The doubts now will come at least from those outside the Lone Peak locker room as doubts do when teams stumble. Can the Knights win without last year's stellar group of seniors? Can they maintain their stanglehold on Utah prep basketball.
For the Knights, those questions were not important after the game. What was paramount was that the tournament structure would afford them little time to lick their wounds. They'll face Bishop O'Connell (Va.) and one of the best high school guards in the country in Romelo Trimble on Friday
"Hopefully we can take things and learn from them and move on," Haws said. "The thing about this tournament is you've got a game every night. Tomorrow we've got another good team. Learn from it and move on."
Overland (Colo.) 70, Lone Peak 63
R T.J. Haws and Frank Jackson combine for 44 points in a losing effort.
• The Knights lose in the state of Utah for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.
Great Western Shootout
at Orem High School
2:15 p.m. • American Fork vs. Overland, Colo.
3:45 p.m. • Bingham vs. Foothill, Nev.
6 p.m. • Orem vs. Denver East
7:30 p.m. • Lone Peak vs. Bishop O'Connell