OGDEN — When the Lone Peak Knights get hot, there's no stopping them. Nobody knows that better than American Fork.
For the third time this season — and with a 5A state championship on the line Saturday — the Knights reeled off one of their trademark runs against cross-town rival American Fork, this one coming in the first half.
Just like in their previous two meetings, the underdog Cavemen never recovered, as Lone Peak cruised to a 64-52 win at the Dee Events Center for its fourth state championship in the past seven years.
"We've all been waiting for this for a long time. This is a better feeling than I could've imagined," said Lone Peak sophomore Talon Shumway. "All the older guys who have won it before kept telling us how it feels. You have no idea until it's you."
Lone Peak beat American Fork twice during Region 4 play, but the Cavemen were optimistic things might be different in the 5A title game. It started out that way, too.
American Fork was hot early, knocking down three 3-pointers in the first quarter to take a 21-13 lead with 1:00 remaining in the quarter. The prospects of an upset began to unravel quickly, though. Lone Peak used a 16-0 run over the next 6:40 to take a 29-21 lead with 2:20 left in the half.
It was texbook Lone Peak.
"I think that's our personality a little bit. I think once we get comfortable in a game then we can put together big numbers quick," said Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis, whose team used a 14-3 run and then a 19-0 run in its previous meetings with American Fork to pull away for the easy victories.
Things didn't come quite so easy Saturday, though, as the Cavemen kept it relatively close until late in the third quarter. Lone Peak eventually pulled away, opening up a 17-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter.
"It never gets old," said Lewis. "You enjoy it because you work so hard to get there, and it's nice to be able to hold a trophy at the end because sometimes you work that hard and you don't get it, and that happened to us a few years ago."
Nick Emery and Tallon Shumway, in particular, made sure the upset never unfolded, finishing with 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the Knights shot 51 percent compared to just 32 percent for American Fork.
Early in the game, American Fork was knocking down everything, much like Fremont did against Lone Peak in the semifinals a day earlier.
Shumway said that even though the Knights trailed by 10 early, there was no panicking.
"We just knew the entire time we were going to win this game," said Shumway. "We just keep fighting, that's what we do."
A defensive switch made a big difference as well. Lone Peak started the game in a man-to-man defense, but Lewis quickly realized it wasn't working and reverted to a zone. The switch helped neutralize American Fork point guard Marcel Davis, who scored nine points in the first quarter but only eight the rest of the way.
"We knew we had to keep Davis in front of us, they have very good shooters on the perimeter, but the key was keeping Davis in front of us," said Lewis.
American Fork tried to be aggressive against the zone with pass fakes and screens to get into the seams, but its production dropped significantly after the first quarter.
With Lone Peak leading 42-36 with 3:22 left in the third quarter, it finally pulled away for good with an 11-0 run as Shumway accounted for seven of the Knights' points.17 comments on this story
Lone Peak got some great contribution as well from Shumway's older brother, Colton. With Jordan Hamilton in foul trouble in the first half, the older Shumway played 10 minutes and scored four points.
Brody Berry was another unsung hero with an impressive 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
5A Boys All-Tournament Team
MVP — Nick Emery, Lone Peak
Talon Shumway, Lone Peak
Quincy Bair, American Fork
Marcel Davis, American Fork
David Collette, Murray
Patrick Fishburn, Fremont