HIGHLAND — Lone Peak wrapped up the preseason with a commanding 76-55 win over Timpview on Tuesday night, but coach Rob Ross hesitated to say whether his team is prepared for the Region 4 gauntlet yet.
“I think we’re getting closer. Our practices have been much better the last couple days, and if we can execute in the game like we’re executing in practice, we’ll give ourselves a lot better chance,” Ross said.
That’s what his team did in the preseason finale, pushing the pace whenever possible and building an early lead it never relinquished.
A great night from behind the arc contributed to the hot start as Lone Peak shot 44 percent from downtown and finished with 13 3-pointers. Six different players made a 3-pointer, with four different players scoring in double figures.
It all started with Lone Peak’s commitment to push the pace, a priority from the coaching staff that’s ebbed and flowed this year. Ross was pleased with the progress against Timpview.
“We’ve spent a lot of time trying to push the basketball and get the ball ahead, and if we don’t have a shot we’ll pull it out and run something,” said Ross. “We just want to push the basketball. It’s fun to play that way, it’s fun for the kids, it’s fun to watch, and we’ve had success with it over the years.”
Early on, pushing the pace created open looks from behind the arc. Six of Lone Peak’s seven buckets in the first quarter were 3-pointers, including a buzzer-beater from Hunter Hannemann as his team opened up a 22-13 lead.
“We believe that when we push the basketball and we’ve got a good shot, whether it’s early in the possession or late in the possession, we want to shoot it,” Ross said.
Lone Peak added three more treys in the second quarter to build a 35-22 halftime lead against Timpview, which missed 12 straight shots during a sluggish stretch of the second quarter. Lone Peak muddled through a similar stretch in the quarter, going four minutes without scoring, otherwise the game really could’ve got out of hand.Comment on this story
After halftime, the lead never dipped below double digits and senior Jaxon Pollard played a big role in that on both ends of the court as he finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
That balanced attack is something Ross said he’ll need from his team every night in Region 4 play, which tips for the Knights next Friday at home against Bingham.
Timpview’s Nate Hansen led all scorers in the loss with 33 points.