After an emotional and tiring victory on Friday, some members of the Lehi boys basketball team came out a little flat against the Thunder on Tuesday (Feb. 6), but they righted the ship by the end of the first half and went on to a resounding victory.
Feb. 6: Lehi 85, Westlake 64
Although junior wing Easton Hawkins boarded the first points of the game for the Pioneers, the Thunder responded with a 16-2 run and led by as many as 13 points before finishing the first period up 24-16.
It took all of three minutes to erase the deficit as senior guard Cooper Lewis either scored or assisted in a variety of ways with the help of senior forward teammates Gabe Cowan and Grayson Brousseau to knot things up at 27-all.
Scoring went back and forth for the final five minutes of the second quarter, but it ended with the teams still tied at 37 apiece.
Lehi took control of the game for good at the start of the second half, notching up the defense and launching a 10-1 spurt in a little more than two minutes. The lead was never threatened again.
Cooper Lewis put on a basketball clinic, making shots from every conceivable angle, switching hands in the air at the rim, speed-dribbling on the break, hitting from way downtown, deflecting the ball from the opponents, making steals and even a pinpoint behind-the-back pass to set up a back-door bucket by Cowan.
He completed 16-of-23 (70%) field goals to finish with 41 points including five triples but also had four rebounds, eight assists and two blocks with a single turnover.
It wasn’t just the Cooper show though. Three other Pioneers tallied double-digit scoring and all of those in the regular rotation made significant contributions.
Brousseau netted 12 points on 5-of-6 (83%) shooting and also had three boards, three assists and major defensive impact. Cowan made 11 points with eight rebounds and two blocks while Hawkins made 11 points as well with three boards.
For the game, the team converted 63 percent of their field goals,made 25 assists on 34 field goals, outrebounded Westlake 24-17and turned the ball over just six times.
Senior guard Jace John came off the bench for eight assists and played solid defense. “Our preparation for this game was the same as for every other one,” he said. “We figure out what the opposing team likes to do, and we practice against it. That helps us to be ready at game time.”
He defined his role on the team as “to go out and give other guys a break when they need it, to defend, and to do whatever it takes to get a win.”
John also indicated that the culture in the clubhouse is very positive. “We’re all best friends and we hang out with each other,” he said. “We’re happy to be here together and win games.”
The coach was pleased with how his team reacted after the slow start. “Despite their record, Westlake is a very good team, and they came out and gave us a good shot early,” said Coach Quincy Lewis. “But, we kept our cool and made our own runs. We’ll take any win we can get out of this region.”
The Pioneers (17-3, 6-1) have Senior Night on Friday (Feb. 9),when they will host Skyridge (9-11, 4-3), the only team to beat them in league play to date.
The varsity girls play at 6 p.m. with the boys immediately following about 7:30. Region 3 play for both teams concludes next week with road games at Lone Peak on Tuesday (Feb. 13) and at Pleasant Grove on Friday (Feb. 16).