Lone Peak boys basketball holds off Davis in dramatic 6A quarterfinal
No one could blame Lone Peak head coach Rob Ross if he looked up at the scoreboard with just under five seconds to play and couldn’t believe his team was in its current position.
His No. 4-seeded Knights had executed well for much of Tuesday’s 6A quarterfinal game against No. 12 Davis at the Dee Events Center in Ogden and led the whole way.
But, as he knew they would, the Darts had refused to fold and made some key plays down the stretch.
Lone Peak had just made a foul shot to go up by two points, but a second shot had been nullified by a lane violation. That meant Davis — who had demonstrated a knack for winning tight games this year — had the ball with a chance to tie or even steal the win.
“I had a bad feeling because I’ve seen them come back and hit game-winning shots multiple times this year,” Ross said. “It was nerve-wracking.”
Davis sophomore guard Coleman Atwater got the ball and sprinted up the court, choosing to pull up from about 30 feet out for what he hoped would be the game-winner.
Ross could only watch as the ball sailed through the air, but it drifted wide of the mark and the Knights survived with the 54-52 win.
“It was a good feeling (to see the last shot miss),” Ross said. “Davis never stopped, never quit. They are well-coached. But we did get the win.”
The Lone Peak coach shouldered the responsibility for the lane violation that gave Atwater his shot to win, explaining that his direction came too late.
“We wanted to pick up No. 1 (Atwater) early and so I wanted our guy up on the lane just to take an extra second or two off rather than letting them throw it up the floor,” Ross said. “I just didn’t get it in there soon enough.”
The Knights led by as many as 10 points early in the second half but couldn’t pull away. Conversely, for much of the final two quarters, Lone Peak always had an answer when Davis cut into the lead.
“There were lots of ups and downs during the game,” Ross said. “We had some young kids out there but they kept their heads. Earlier in the year we would rush shots and we told them that as long as they are on balance and square to the basket, take the shot. They did that today, so we are really proud of them for that.”
Late in the fourth quarter, however, Ross said he felt like the Knights didn’t do a good job at preventing Davis from penetrating into the lane.
“We let them get to the middle and they got multiple layups and-1s,” Ross said. “We have a drill at practice that we call state championship defense and you cannot let your guys get to the paint. We failed at that late in the game. They got where they wanted to go.”
Davis just kept inching closer and Lone Peak had a couple of free throw misses, which set up the excitement of the final moments.
The Knights were led by senior Luke Fotheringham, who had 17 points and six assists, while sophomore Isaac Staley finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Davis was paced by 17 points from Kaden Eggett in the losing effort.
The victory punched Lone Peak’s ticket to the 6A semifinals, where they will face a familiar opponent in top-seeded Corner Canyon.
“This is exactly where we want to be,” Ross said. “We do know them well and they know us well. We’re looking forward to the opportunity. We think our defense has been much better in the last three or four games and so we’ll give it a shot. We’re excited about it.”
Knights and the Chargers are scheduled to square off at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Thursday at 7 p.m. with a spot in the championship on the line.
Z. Fisher 8, Eggett 17, Atwater 10, A. Fisher 10, Whicker 6, Taylor 1. Totals: 18 10-18 52.
Lone Peak (54)
Burgess 6, Staley 13, Swiggett 8, Fotheringham 17, Kramer 4, Best 2, Amberry 2, Suarez 2. Totals 22 7-12 54.
Davis 10 7 17 18 — 52
Lone Peak 16 9 15 14 — 54
3-pointers: Davis 6 (A. Fisher 2, Whicker 2, Z. Fisher, Eggett); Lone Peak 3 (Swiggett 2, Fotheringham).