Taylorsville • When Quincy Lewis took the coaching job at Lehi High before the season, he called senior point guard Noa Gonsalves and made a prediction: The Pioneers were going to win a state championship.
“I thought he was crazy at first,” Gonsalves said.
It turns out Lewis was anything but.
Lehi beat Farmington 61-57 to claim the 5A state boys’ basketball championship Saturday in Bruin Arena at Salt Lake City Community College. It’s Lehi’s 12th state title in program history and first since winning three in a row from 1996 to 1998.
Lewis won his eighth state title Saturday, and first since being the Lone Peak head coach in 2014.
The Pioneers had to fight off a Farmington team that wouldn’t quit. Despite trailing by eight late in the first half, Farmington chipped away at the deficit and even took its first lead of the game at 40-37 after Collin Chandler made a pull-up 3-pointer with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.
Chandler scored on an inbounds play to give the Phoenix a 45-43 lead early in the fourth quarter. But Lehi closed the game on an 18-12 run. Chandler made a pull-up 3-pointer with 1 second left, and Gonsalves made two free throws for the final score.
“We just had to stay composed, stay hungry, keep up our hustle and just come out with a win,” Gonsalves said of Lehi’s turnaround. “That’s all.”
The moment the game felt sealed, however, was when Pioneers senior forward Peter Amakasu received a pass on a fast break and dunked the ball with two hands.
“It was great,” Amakasu said of the dunk. “It felt amazing. It put our momentum up.”
Amakasu said the team bought in from Day 1 when Lewis came aboard. Gonsalves described him as “the best coach in high school basketball.”
“We just trusted him,” Amakasu said.
Lewis said that when he came in, he told Gonsalves that Lehi might not be the best team in July or even September, but his goal was to get there by March.
“We weren’t the best team February 1,” Lewis said. “But we are now.”
Amakasu led the Pioneers with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He also added five rebounds. Gonsalves scored 19 and added 13 rebounds, a number he doesn’t believe he has ever reached in his high school career.
Tyson Hawkins added nine points for Lehi.
Chandler had a game-high 23 points for Farmington, while Caleb Mordue had 13 points and Truman Hendry had 12.
Saturday’s title put Lehi alone in second in state championships. Lehi passed South Sevier, which has 11 state titles, but is still behind Provo High, which has 17.