OGDEN — Folks that traveled to the Dee Events Center on Monday to check out the Lone Peak juggernaut certainly didn’t go home disappointed.
The Knights wowed the crowd with deep 3-pointers and electrifying dunks on their way to an easy 90-53 victory over underdog West Jordan.
The victory came just hours after Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis was named the Naismith National High School Basketball Coach of the Year.
“I was really surprised, to be honest with you,” Lewis said of receiving the honor. “I got a call this morning and jeez, I don’t know. It’s a reflection of having good players, and I’ve got a great staff. That’s really what it’s about."
A year after the first round of the 5A state tournament featured two overtime games, the opening day only featured a handful of close contests.
Not surprisingly, they both involved Region 3 and 4 teams.
In the first game of the day, Alta rallied from an early 12-point deficit to knock off Bingham 65-61, avenging a one-point loss to the Miners back in January.
Trevor Hill came up big for the Hawks — both at the free-throw line and in helping Alta only commit six turnovers.
A few hours after Alta rallied past Bingham, American Fork overcame a fast start by Jordan on its way to a 51-47 victory. The Cavemen were outstanding from the free-throw line, finishing 18 of 19, and they did a wonderful job shutting down Jordan leading scorer Brandon Pasker.
Most of the day, however, belonged to the favorites.
Third-ranked Weber rolled past West 68-39 as Hayden Schenck nearly finished with a triple-double with 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Considering that he tore his ACL in the first round of last year’s state tournament, it was a phenomenal performance.
He did it with his grandfather, a longtime Dee Events Center usher, on hand watching, as usual.
Another Region 1 star came up big as well at Weber State.
Syracuse's Diante Mitchell scored 21 points, with 15 coming from the free-throw line, to lead Region 1 No. 4 seed Syracuse to the 53-36 win over Region 2 champion Hunter.
Davis advanced to the quarterfinals with an easy 56-43 win over Davis, which earned the Darts a quarterfinal date with No. 1 Lone Peak on Wednesday.
The two night games lacked much drama on the court, but there was certainly a lot of drama for those who were trying to make it to the Dee Events Center, especially the buses from Pleasant Grove and Brighton who were stuck on I-15 for hours.
On the court, Brighton had a strong second half to pull away from Pleasant Grove for the 70-55 victory. Travis Devashrayee scored 21 points to lead Brighton, while Brandon Miller added 20. Miller's younger brother, Brock Miller, continued to make great contributions in the Bengals' victory.
In the night cap, Viewmont played a surprisingly consistent game to upset Northridge 56-43. The Vikings were the No. 3 seed from Region 2, which went 0-3 in the first round earlier in the day.
Most figured Viewmont would make it 0-4, but it defended Northridge's shooters very well and hung on for the win.
Afterward, Viewmont coach Jeff Emery said it's fun to be sticking around in the tourney a little longer.
"Told the kids, 'Third season, we have no pressure. Nobody picked us to beat anybody. Let’s come up and see how long we can stay out here," Emery said.