Braden Cooper had a cut in the middle of his eyebrow, a butterfly bandage holding the gash together following his Lehi squad's 70-51 semifinal victory over Bear River.
He didn't seem to mind at all.Cooper is aware of how rare his squad's chance to take a third-consecutive title tonight at Weber State actually is.
"I always dreamed of this for when I was a senior but I never imagined it would be as a junior and sophomore too," he said.
Copper did more than just wish his way to the title game, he also scored 17 points to help the Pioneers reach the championship game.
Trailing after one quarter, Lehi got offensive in the second period to take control of the contest.
Cooper had a lot of help, of course, much of it coming from fellow-seniors Mike Christofferson (17 points) and Andy Hadfield (14 points), both of whom started a basketball journey four years ago when they made the Lehi squad as freshmen.
In the second half, Lehi surged ahead with a 10-point run that basically decided the contest, despite some Bear River runs.
"It (the score) is kind of deceiving," said Pioneer coach Dave Filimoehala. "They are a good team."
Lehi played its game and scored easy baskets as a result of solid defense. They also shot the lights out, hitting 65 percent of their field goals and 46 percent of their treys.
Cooper insisted the offense was mostly accademic.
"We have a number of guys who can score as many points as they want," he said. "But it is not about scoring."
In the other semifinal games:
EMERY 67, UINTAH 56 : Uintah lost a double-digit lead while trying to run the clock out and the Spartans took advantage as Clint Pitchforth had 16 points and 18 boards.
DIXIE 69, RICHFIELD 67: The Flyers lived to see another day by outlasting the Wildcats.
PINE VIEW 85, GRANITE 72: The Panthers used a big second half to set up another meeting with Region 9 rival Dixie.