Things appeared to be going Lone Peak's way near the end of the first half of Thursday's boys basketball contest in the Great Western Shootout at Orem High School between the Knights and Overland (a team from Colorado).
Some aggressive defense had resulted in fast-break points and Lone Peak had a 33-26 lead heading into the break.
But the Knights couldn't maintain that defensive performance and the Trailblazers erased the deficit, then made the plays down the stretch to get the 70-63 win over Lone Peak.
"We didn’t play as good as they did," said Knight head coach Quincy Lewis. "They played great. We had them down by seven a couple of times but we didn’t put the knife in the heart. They are a good team and against a good team you have to take advantage."
The loss was the first for the Knights on Utah soil since a 58-50 defeat at American Fork on Feb. 10, 2012. Lone Peak’s only loss in the 2012-13 season came at an out-of-state tournament.
It definitely wasn’t an experience the Knight players have endured often.
“It’s obviously not a good feeling,” said Lone Peak senior TJ Haws. “We have to take the things we did wrong, learn from them and move on. In a tournament like this, you’re going to face a great team every night.”
Haws said his team didn’t respond when Overland made a late run.
“We have to weather the storm and stay on the attack,” he said.
The contest was close heading into the final period as the Trailblazers held a slim, 52-51 advantage.
But after the Knights missed the front end of a one-and-one that would’ve put them in front, Overland scored 11 of the next 15 points to build a 63-55 advantage.
Lone Peak would get back to within three points but the Trailblazers knocked down their foul shots to put the game away.
Lewis pointed to the way Overland attacked the offensive glass as one of the big keys to why the Trailblazers were successful.
“This game was about our defense down the stretch and their offensive rebounding,” he said.
Overland ended up making 24-of-47 shots (51.1 percent) for the game including 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from 3-point range.
By comparison, Lone Peak was 23-of-55 (41.8 percent) from the field and just 4-of-21 (19 percent) from beyond the arc.
Many of the Knight misses came on contested long jump shots which weren’t falling consistently.
“They were actively trying to take the 3-pointer away,” Lewis explained. “Eventually we started getting to the basket. This was not a great offensive night for us but it was good enough to win. That’s not what the game was about.”
Haws said the Knights, who are playing a number of guys with limited experience, have to understand how to respond when those types of looks aren’t going in.
“We can’t be a team that wins off jump shots,” he said. “We need to find other ways and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Haws led Lone Peak with 26 points, while sophomore guard Frank Jackson came alive in the final minutes and ended up with 18.
The Trailblazers were paced by 24 from Jervae Robinson.
The Knights now have to turn around and get ready for another talented opponent as they face Bishop O’Connell (from Virginia) in Friday’s Great Western Shootout second round.
“I want to see if we can defend consistently through the game,” Lewis said.
That game is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Orem High School. For more information on the event, go to greatwesternshootout.com.
Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be followed on Twitter at @JaredrLloyd.