The Lehi boys basketball team made several critical plays down the stretch to survive a big test from Foothill (Santa Ana CA) and hang on for a 57-51 victory in the first round of The Classic at Damien on Wednesday (Dec. 27) night.
“This was our best win of the year against the best team we’ve played so far,” said Coach Quincy Lewis. “This was also the first game we’ve won this year because of our defense. The kids really made some smart plays down the stretch.”
There were multiple lead changes in this up-tempo duel between two athletic squads and the contest was a chess match for the two head coaches.
The Knights scored first but the advantage went back and forth throughout the initial quarter, which ended with the Pioneers in front 15-13. Foothill worked for the advantage in the second period and led 31-29 going into the break.
The third quarter included one of two spectacular dunks for Lehi in the game. The first came when the score was tied at 37-all.
Senior forward Grayson Brousseau made a steal and dished to a streaking Easton Hawkins, and the junior wing finished the fast break with a decisive flush plus got a free throw afterwards as well to break the deadlock. The Pioneers were up 42-40 entering the final stanza.
As the clock ticked down, both teams answered the bell time after time to draw even with the other. One such instance was when Hawkins made a steal and hit senior forward Gabe Cowanon the run for another thundering dunk to move Lehi further ahead, but the Knights responded once again.
The scoreboard read 51-all with 1:30 remaining. Lehi made a steal to end a Foothill possession with under a minute to play. Each side took multiple timeouts during the final sequence to try to find a way to win out.
The Pioneers broke through when senior guard Cooper Lewisdrew a double-team and then found Hawkins open on the wing for a huge trey.
“This play was designed for Cooper and he got loose,” Coach Lewis explained. “However, when Easton’s cover guy helped all the way off, Cooper made a good decision and Easton hit a big shot for us.”
With 13.4 seconds to go, senior guard Bryson Bromleyintentionally fouled to prevent a three-point try, and on the subsequent in-bounds play, Lewis made a leaping interception to take over possession with 10.9 seconds left. He then hit 3-of-4 charity tosses to secure the outcome in Lehi’s favor.
Hawkins finished with 24 points including four triples and also had eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in the contest. Lewis added 13 points with three steals.
Senior forward Cy Hansen gave some good minutes off the bench and tallied seven points, four boards, four assists, two steals and a block. Senior forward Gabe Cowan also netted seven points with six rebounds.
Senior forward Grayson Brousseau scored six straight points early in the second half with three assists and a pair of steals. Senior guard Bryson Bromley got three boards. The Pioneers were a combined 9-of-11 (82%) from the line to help their cause.
“We were really disappointed in our defense at Maple Mountain,” said Coach Lewis. “I feel like we definitely took a step forward tonight in that regard. Cy gave us a big lift especially in the first half, and Grayson helped us with some tough baskets at the start of the second half.”
Tonight, Lehi takes on Riverside Polytechnic (11-4) at 8 p.m. The winner of that contest advances to the championship semifinals on Friday.