The Lehi boys basketball team posted an impressive victoryover a highly-ranked team from Missouri and then blew out a team from Florida at home last weekend as part of the Hoopfest showcase hosted at the school.
In their first game of the showcase, the Pioneers took on a team that was ranked No. 31 nationally coming into the season and is a perennial power in its home state. They have a big, athletic and talented roster that lived up to its reputation.
The teams dueled pretty even through the fast-moving first quarter, which ended with the Pioneers up just 18-16. The second period was when the game turned in favor of the home squad as Lehi shot lights out and took a 43-27 advantage into the break.
The visitors reduced the deficit some in the third quarter but were never able to threaten the big lead. Lehi netted 13 triples during this contest, making nearly half of their attempts, and were 52 percent overall from the field for the night in a high-level team effort.
Junior wing Easton Hawkins was on fire despite having his nose broken about three minutes into the second period. He was 9-of-13 (69%) from the field and 5-of-7 (71%) from distance as he finished with 31 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Senior guard Cooper Lewis added 24 points including six triples and a perfect 4-for-4 at the line plus seven boards, three assists, two steals and a block. Senior forward Gabe Cowan scored 11 points with six rebounds and a block.
Senior forward Grayson Brousseau was a key to beating CRCP’s full-court pressure and had nine assists on the night along with six points and a couple of steals. Senior guard Bryson Bromleyhad five assists and did a stellar job keeping control of the ball against the press.
“We watched a lot of film to prepare for this game,” Hawkins said. “We had the JV run their stuff and practiced against it. We expected their pressure but knew we had the back-cut so we just did our thing. Coach told us coming into the game to stick our shots when we got them.”
“When you play these out-of-state teams, you usually can’t get as good of a scouting report as you might like, but we were able to see some film,” said Coach Quincy Lewis. “We knew who their players were. Our guys were mentally sharp coming in tonight.
“We knew there would be a lot of pressure and they did a great job taking care of the ball,” he added. “Grayson played a pivotal role breaking their press in the middle of the court. In the second half we were able to get open shots, and we put the ball in the basket.”
Dec. 9: Lehi 85, Stranahan (Ft. Lauderdale FL) 52
The Mighty Dragons scored the first points of this game but that was their only lead as the Pioneers had the scoring advantage in every quarter and continued to extend the margin throughout. It was 15-9 at the end of the first, 41-21 at half and 67-36 entering the final stanza.
Despite having to play in a mask, Hawkins again had a great shooting night with 25 points including five more treys along with nine rebounds and five assists. Cooper Lewis added 20 points with nine boards and six assists while Cowan scored 10 with seven rebounds and a couple of steals.
Brousseau netted nine points with seven assists. Junior guard Cole Welch had six points and senior forward Cy Hansen provided five points, four boards and a pair of blocks off the bench.
“Each and every game, we’re taught to play to our strengths and our level, not to what the competition is doing,” Bromley said. “We knew they were very quick and very active, and the key was going to be our inside-out game.
“We didn’t want to let them speed us up,” he said. “We were ready for their traps and played at our pace, not theirs.”
The coach was pleased with the overall success of this fourth annual event. “We really appreciate Glenn Smith, the tournament director, for making this a really positive experience for boys and girls,” said Coach Lewis. “We’re grateful to all who were involved here.
“We were happy to get a couple of wins and take some steps forward going into the next week,” he said.
Friday (Dec. 15) is Junior Pioneers night at Lehi as they take on Highland at 7 p.m. “All kids who wear a bantam Pioneers jersey or a camp t-shirt get in free,” Coach Lewis said. “Also, we will have player autographs after the game. We invite the community to come and see what all the excitement is about.”