HIGHLAND – In a big Region 4 victory over Alta, one thing that probably stood out the most for Lone Peak was a negative. The Knights' free-throw shooting woes nearly cost them down the stretch on Friday night.
Fortunately for the home team, their lead was big enough and ultimately, they got the ball in the hands of their star, freshman Nick Emery, in the final minute.
Emery totaled 31 total points and went 6-of-6 from the free throw line, helping Lone Peak to a 66-57 win over the Hawks. The Knights prevailed despite missing a staggering 16 free throws in the second half alone.
"Any win you can get in this region, we'll take it," Lone Peak head coach Quincy Lewis said. "We're going to be happy this weekend, and then get back to work."
Emery hit five 3-pointers and combined with senior teammate Tannon Pedersen – who had 25 points – to drain a total of nine 3-pointers. Six of those bombs came in the first half.
"I always tell the team that we need to take what the defense gives us, and that's what it was to begin the game," Lewis said.
The Knights (10-1) got off to a blazing start, hitting their first three shots to jump out to an 8-0 lead. Alta (8-3) clawed its way back in the game, and eventually tied it at 12 apiece.
They tied it again late in the second quarter and kept it close until the closing minutes of the third quarter. That's when Lone Peak scored the final six points of that period to turn a tightly-contested game into a double-digit lead.
Another spurt – an 11-0 run at the beginning of the final quarter – broke the game open and gave the Knights a 55-36 advantage.12 comments on this story
But Alta's versatile post player, Kyle Davis, never threw in the towel and continued to assert himself all over the court. For the contest, Davis matched Emery with a game-high 31 points – a total that included a trio of 3-pointers.
Davis, who had 12 points in the last period, was all over the court, scoring points as well as forcing Lone Peak turnovers – which he did three straight times with aggressive defense when the Hawks were attempting to mount their comeback.
"He's a fine player," Lewis said about Davis' effort. "He did a fine job of keeping them in the game."