The Lehi boys basketball team notched two more victories in Region 3 play this past week as they completed the first round of league play.
The Pioneers slogged through a sloppy first half with the Knights but took control of the game after the break to pull away for the victory, even though they netted just two 3-pointers in the contest.
The teams dueled back and forth through the first quarter,creating multiple ties. Senior guard Cooper Lewis sank his only triple of the game late in the period to give the home squad an 11-10 advantage.
Lehi extended that lead early in the second quarter, but Lone Peak had a mini-spurt in the final three minutes and moved ahead 26-22 as the teams headed to the locker room.
Returning to the court, the Pioneers quickly erased that deficit, and the teams went toe-to-toe for the next few minutes. However, Lehi launched a 13-4 run to finish off the quarter with savvy plays on both ends of the court and carried a 46-38 margin into the final eight minutes.
Six consecutive points by senior forward Grayson Brousseau and solid defense down the stretch allowed the Pioneers to close out the win.
Lewis finished with a game-high 25 points plus three assists and two steals. Junior wing Easton Hawkins scored 11 with six rebounds and three steals while senior forward Gabe Cowannetted eight points with three boards, four assists, two steals and a block.
Brousseau had five assists with his six points. Senior forward Cy Hansen added five points with four rebounds and a block plus some great defense, and senior forward Kaleb Moore had five points including the team’s other trey. Senior guard Bryson Bromley got four boards and two blocks.
The team shot 50 percent overall from the field despite the dry spell for threes and went 14-of-16 (88%) from the line.
“We knew we had to be physical on their bigs, get out on the shooters and make them go into our defense,” Hansen said. “We did pretty good with that. There are still some little things we need to do to get better and we’ll keep working on those.”
He said the players reacted well to the loss at Skyridge. “We don’t like losing but that’s history,” Hansen said. “Our focus was on coming in and getting a win tonight and we did.”
“That was a rugged game and not too pretty on either side,” said Coach Quincy Lewis. “Cy gave us great minutes off the bench. He guarded well and came in and got offensive rebounds and was smart on the floor.
“I thought we made good adjustments as players to what was happening,” the coach added. “Any way you can win in this region, you take it.”
Jan. 26: Lehi 77, Pleasant Grove 61
The Pioneers moved ahead early and held off a deep, talented Viking team in front of a full house at home to complete their first league cycle in Class 6A.
Bromley found Hawkins for the first two buckets of the game, one from long distance and the other at the rim to give Lehi a 5-0 start just 1:41 into the contest.
Pleasant Grove caught up and briefly held the lead, but the Pioneers finished the period on a 13-4 run in the final 2:20 to go up 20-14. The margin expanded to 39-26 at the break.
The Vikings returned from the locker room with determinationand stayed fresh throughout the game with their full line changes. They worked the gap down to a single bucket with 2:40 remaining in the third quarter, but Lehi outshot them 30-16 the rest of the way to secure the victory.
Lehi relied on balanced scoring to counter the frenetic Viking defense. Cowan turned in his best all-around performance of the season with 14 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals and no turnovers.
Hawkins racked up 21 points on 80 percent shooting including a pair of treys and also had six boards and two steals. Lewis added a game-high 22 points with two triples plus three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Brousseau netted 10 points with three boards and Bromley had four assists and three steals. Hansen, Moore and senior guard Jace John all made solid contributions on both ends of the floor as well. The team had 21 assists on 27 field goals and shot 17-of-20 (85%) at the line.
“On most teams there’s one or two players who aren’t much of a threat, but with Pleasant Grove, we know everyone on the floor can shoot it no matter which group of five is in,” Hawkins said. “So, we tried to deny the three and switch to where the ball went.”
On the offensive end, Cowan said they were looking for the open man. “When we get the ball, we’ve been taught to take a picture of the floor in our minds,” he explained. “We know when our teammates are going to cut to the rim, and we can get a wide-open layup.”
“We know we’ve got to come ready every night,” Hawkins said. “We need to catch people off guard and do what we do best to come out on top.”
“This region is just a beast every night,” Coach Lewis added. “Pleasant Grove plays a different style of ball, but I thought overall we adapted very well and came right at them. Gabe and Easton had exceptional games for us tonight.
“The bottom line is we’re tied for first place halfway through our region schedule,” he concluded. The Pioneers (15-3, 4-1) are knotted up with American Fork in the league standings, and those teams play this week on Friday (Feb. 2) to start the second round after the all-team bye on Tuesday.
Lehi will be the visitors this time. The girls varsity plays at 6 p.m., followed immediately by the boys game at about 7:30 p.m.