SALT LAKE CITY — Zach Frampton had never before had a night like the one he experienced Saturday evening at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Not only was the senior a key ingredient in creating Utah high school basketball history, but he also recorded a career high in scoring and posted a double-double in the process.
Frampton’s Lone Peak Knights defeated Region 4 foe Pleasant Grove, 84-66, for their fourth consecutive state championship, which, until Saturday, was a feat never before achieved in Utah.
And during Saturday's title game game, the 6-foot-3 guard totaled 24 points, improving on his previous career best of 22 points set against Riverton in January and more than doubling his season average of 11.4 points per game.
Most of his points on Saturday — 21 of them to be exact — were scored in the second quarter, and 12 of those came during a Frampton-only scoring run that closed out the second quarter and helped push the Knights to their 18-point halftime lead.
“That guy has great experience,” said Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis, adding that Frampton played significant minutes on the Knights' national championship team a year ago. “He’s been in every environment you can possibly imagine. So, to see him come up big in an environment like this is not surprising.”
There was just 2:15 left in the first half when Frampton drove to the basket and was fouled, leading to two easy free throws. The senior followed those freebies with an open 3-pointer from the point and then returned to the foul line — where he hit the first of two foul shots — after being fouled on a fast-break layup just 13 seconds later.
The senior hit another 3 from the point with just less than a minute left in the half and then a third from beyond the arc on the wing as time expired.
“I was feeling it,” Frampton said afterward. “My teammates were getting me the ball and I was just ready to shoot. I was ready to finish out the season.”
He hit 3 of 4 free throws in the second half to inch past his previous record. In the moment, however, those 24 points were far less important than the elusive four.
“All that matters is getting that win,” Frampton said. “No matter how many points I scored, I’d be happy we got that win.”
Frampton was 7 of 11 from the floor, including making 3 of 7 from beyond the 3-point line, and hit 7 of 10 free-throw attempts. He grabbed 10 rebounds, nine of them on the defensive end, dished out four assists and came up with six steals.
And still, in spite of his lights-out offense on top of stellar defense, Frampton could not quite find the words to express the feeling of having a career night in a history-making game.
“I don’t even know yet. I’m just living the dream,” he said. “I’m just living the dream. It’s been my dream since freshman year to do this and to be a reality is just something else.”
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.
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