OGDEN — Lone Peak superstar sophomore Nick Emery needed to take just one shot in his first state tournament atmosphere to ease his nerves.
He made it — and then the Knights were off to the races.
Emery made three 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored a game-high 17 points to lead Lone Peak to a 58-33 win over Region 4 rival Pleasant Grove in the second round of the 5A state tournament on Monday. The Knights advance to play West Jordan in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
"There were definitely nerves," said Emery, who as a freshman last year played against Bingham on the Miners' home court in the second round. "Once I hit a shot I feel like I can just play and not worry about the whole game and all that."
The Knights, who improved to 21-1 with the victory, were a little jittery in the early going. Emery's 3-point bombs seemed to make the rest of the team relax.
"We shot the ball off the bottom of the rim twice in the first three minutes," said Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis. ""We got a chance to get those first 3-4 minutes out of the way. When Nick hits those kind of shots it makes it a little easier."
Lone Peak, which beat Pleasant Grove by 32 points in each of its two regular season meetings, took control early on Monday. The Knights went on a 14-0 run that was bridged by the first and second quarters to take a 22-6 lead. The Vikings didn't score in the second period until it was halfway over, and made just one basket during the quarter.
"The thing I'm really pleased with is our defense," Lewis said.
Lone Peak's other standouts also contributed. T.J. Haws scored 15 points and made two 3-pointers. Jordan Hamilton, who played much of the game with a bandage wrapped around his head after it was cut in the first quarter, had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Knights held the Vikings to nine field goals and 27.3 percent shooting. Lone Peak outrebounded Pleasant Grove 33-21, and had 12 steals.Comment on this story
"We just came out strong," Emery said. "We came out like we wanted it."
Next up for Lone Peak is a highly anticipated matchup with the Jaguars. The two teams haven't played since West Jordan defeated Lone Peak in the 5A championship game two seasons ago. It seems a little early for the two teams to be facing each other, considering they have a combined four losses, but that's how the bracket shapes up.
"I think we're ready," Emery said. "This was a good game to get warmed up. We're ready to play any team. We just have to play our game and not get so hyped."