It’s been long enough since Lone Peak won four straight basketball titles that none of the current Knights have had a taste of a championship.
The current batch of Lone Peak players were junior high age when the 2014 crown, the last of four in a row, was earned.
“I’ve been playing on the junior teams and obviously want to keep up the tradition,” said 6-foot-5 senior Max Brenchley, who scored 10 points and hauled down 15 rebounds. “We need to get back on that winning streak. I think it means a lot to the school.”
But the Knights have been in the championship game in the years since.
That happened last year, and Lone Peak is back again for another try after beating Layton 82-47 on Friday night at the Huntsman Center.
Lone Peak scored the first nine points of the contest and never relinquished the lead in the Class 6A state semifinal.
“It’s been our goal to win a state championship ever since we were young. We had a chance last year and came up a little short. Being back, it’s exactly where we wanted to be,” said Lone Peak senior guard Steven Ashworth, who scored 16 points despite getting hit in the eye in the first half.
Another senior guard, Chantry Ross, was the scoring leader for Lone Peak (22-3), finishing with 17.
Ross started hot by dribbling into the lane and hitting a pair of off-balance layups as the Knights jumped out to the 9-0 lead.
Layton (16-8) didn’t get on the board until Collin Jeppson, the team’s leader with 17, hit a shot with 4:27 left in the first quarter.
After the slow start, the Lancers trimmed the lead to three when Chase Potter hit a shot and a subsequent free throw. That made the score 10-7, but Lone Peak scored the next seven points, including a reverse layup by Jackson Brinkerhoff and a 3-pointer by Ross.
The margin was 10 early in the third quarter when Lone Peak reeled off 10 points in a row. The Knights, who also got 10 points from Brinkerhoff, cruised to victory after that.
“Oh, I was a little teary in that locker room. I’m just so proud of the way they were a total group,” Lone Peak coach David Evans said. “They were a total team and Brenchley was the pinnacle of that.”
Lone Peak will play region rival Pleasant Grove in the Class 6A state championship at the Huntsman Center. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, and the Knights will be trying to win a third game against the Vikings this season.
The Knights advanced to the Class 5A finale before losing to Bingham last year.
“We just need to make sure we stay aggressive, to stay positive with one another and make sure to share the ball,” Ashworth said. “I think that’ll be a big thing for tomorrow.”