OREM — Lone Peak’s TJ Haws certainly saved his best for last in the Knights' thrilling 49-46 win over Bishop O’Connell (Va.) Friday night at the Great Western Shootout.
With the game tied and just 4.9 seconds left on the clock, Haws took an inbounds pass, streaked down the court and hit a running 35-footer at the buzzer for the win.
The BYU-bound senior let out a yell as the ball splashed through the hoop and his teammates mobbed him while the Lone Peak faithful rushed the court.
"I knew I had missed a few shots, but I tried to stay confident and shot with confidence and that's why it went through," Haws said. "I stepped up when I needed to."
Haws, who is battling through injury according to coaches, struggled mightily with his shot throughout the contest. A 2-for-10 effort in the first half preceded a 1-for-6 performance in the second half up until the game's final minutes.
With 1:16 left on the clock, and the Knights clinging to a 44-42 lead, Haws crossed over a defender and calmly swished through an 18-foot jumper to give his team a four-point lead.
Bishop O'Connell wasn't done, however.
A basket, a steal on Lone Peak's next possession, and two clutch free throws by Bishop O'Connell's Romelo Trimble tied the game up at 46-46 and left most people anticipating overtime.
Haws had other ideas.
"That's just who TJ Haws is," said Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis. "He was hurting, he was struggling, but he found a way to get it done. That's what he does and the type of player he is. He's something else."
Haws finished the game with 18 points on 5-18 shooting, and found other ways to help his team.
"I've struggled with my shot before, but you just have to find other ways to help the team and I did that in the final quarter," said Haws, who finished with a team-high five assists.
Haws certainly had help — primarily from super sophomore Frank Jackson, who finished with 14 points. Jackson sat for a lot of the second half with foul trouble, but made an immediate impact upon returning as he drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to put his team up 35-31 with a little more than five minutes remaining.
"He's pretty good, and he got in some foul trouble, but he came up big for us there at the end," Lewis said. "He's just a sophomore, but he's learning and he was big for us tonight."
Lewis was perhaps most pleased with his team's defensive effort. He left Thursday night's 70-63 loss to Overland (Colo.) unsatisfied with his team's rebounding and overall effort on the defensive end.
Friday night his team responded.
"I was extremely proud of how we turned it around on the defensive end. That's a very good team we played, but we battled and I'm proud of how we competed — especially on defense."
Lone Peak wraps up play in the Great Western Shootout with a game against Orem on Saturday night at Orem High School at 7 p.m.
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