HIGHLAND Lone Peak may be looking forward to its rematch with Pleasant Grove later this week, but any thoughts of the Knights overlooking Spanish Fork on Wednesday evening were gone with the opening tipoff.
Senior Bracken Funk scored 20 points and junior Tyler Haws added 17 as the Knights blasted the Dons, 72-44.
"He played a really good game," Knights head coach Quincy Lewis said of Funk. "Our guys have a lot of respect for Spanish Fork."
The Dons (11-7, 3-4) looked like they were going to be able to keep up during the first quarter. Midway through the period, the Knights led just 10-9. However, the Knights ended the period on a 7-0 run for an eight-point advantage.
The Knights (16-2, 7-0) extended their lead in the second quarter using a set of confusing defensive patterns that had the Dons completely confused. At one point, the Dons rotated the ball around the perimeter for over a minute and a half trying to find an open shot before finally sinking a three.
"We hustled a lot on defense," Lewis said.
The Dons tried fighting their way back in the third quarter behind back-to-back three pointers by senior Zack Clayton. But, as was their problem most of the evening, the Dons didn't have any answers for Funk, Haws and the rest of the Knights.
"Defensively, we had a hard time getting stops," said Clayton, who finished the game with a team-high 10 points.
Spanish Fork head coach Mark Bailey had a hard time thinking of positives after the game.
"I don't know if we did any good things tonight," he said. "We didn't take advantage of opportunities when we had them."
The Dons were also limited because of some costly fouls by senior Dallin Naulu. Naulu had just one foul after the first half but quickly added two in the second half.
Lewis said getting Naulu out of the game was key to the Knights second-half success. The Knights scored 42 of their 72 points in the second half. Bailey said that Naulu's foul trouble definitely disrupted his team, but that wasn't a good excuse.
"It was a factor but we needed to be able to fight through it," Bailey said.
The Knights have now won nine consecutive games and 16 of 17 since their 64-62 loss to Provo in their first game. The loss was the second consecutive for the Dons after a three-game winning streak.