His legs were tired and his body was weary, but Lone Peak star guard T.J. Haws wanted a shot at history. So he drove to the hoop time and again, twisting through defenders, to earn it.
The Knights had played a double-overtime game fewer than 24 hours before, and Davis was surging to take a one-point lead in the fourth quarter. But to climb up to the Knights’ pedestal and knock them off it, you must stop Haws.
StorylinesT.J. Haws’ 25-point, seven-rebound, five-assist performance leads Lone Peak to the Class 5A title game.
» The Knights will have a chance to become the first Utah team to win four straight state titles.
And when a pair of 3-pointers from Janzten Allphin drew away the weak-side defender that had been dogging Haws all half, the senior star — one of the most transcendent players in state history — smelled blood.
He drove to the rim three times to re-establish Lone Peak’s lead, which would stick for good. The Knights, courtesy of their 72-63 win in the Class 5A state semifinals Friday at the Huntsman Center, now have their sights set on history. They’ll try to become the first team in Utah history to win four straight state titles on Saturday.
"We’re aware of that," Haws said of the chance at history. "Last year, we said we were chasing history, winning the national championship. This year, we’re chasing history as well."
The Darts, who had lost just twice all year, proved to be a difficult obstacle for Lone Peak, with forward Elijah Kletzli’s 23-point, 11-board performance leading the way. But when the Darts stormed to a one-point lead with just under four minutes left, the Knights were ready.
They may have been tired, in a dogfight with a good team, but they’d been there before.
"This team is very well-prepared for that," Haws said. "We’ve had these tournament-like atmospheres this whole season. We’ve had weeks where we had to play four games, three in a row. We played two in one day.
"… We know Davis is a very good team, knew they were going to make their run. So we weathered the storm."
The Knights ended the game on a 13-4 run, with Haws leading the way. Now on Saturday they’ll get their shot at history — though they know a team wanting nothing more than to deprive them of it will be waiting.
"If somebody knocks us off, then good for them," Knights coach Quincy Lewis said. "I can guarantee it’ll be a battle, though."
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