The Lehi boys basketball team got the season off to a solid start at the Corner Canyon tournament Dec. 3-5, earning a 2-1 record.
The Pioneers suffered a narrow loss to 6A No. 5 Westlake 57-54 on Dec. 3, but bounced back with a 72-46 trouncing of 6A Syracuse the next day, then soundly defeated 5A No. 2 Farmington 68-48 on Saturday to complete the outing.
“These three games were really helpful to get things going,” said Lehi Coach Quincy Lewis. “You don’t know coming into an event like this if you’re going to get them all but playing three days in a row gives you a great shot to assess where you are at this early point in the season.”
Westlake 57, Lehi 54
The contest with the Thunder was close from start to finish as the teams were never separated by more than a handful of points. They were knotted at 39-all entering the fourth quarter.
Lehi senior Peter Amakasu opened the final period with a trey to give the Pioneers the lead and they maintained it for a time, but Westlake shot itself back in front at the free-throw line and was able to hang on to the narrow advantage until the end.
“Westlake’s a good, tough, physical team,” said Lewis. “We were ahead in the fourth quarter and couldn’t quite hold the lead but I thought we competed well throughout the game. Blake Hill gave us some nice baskets when we needed them.”
Amakasu led the scoring with 15 points and Hill had 13, both of them sinking 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Senior guard Noa Gonsalves added 13 points and senior guard Tyson Hawkins had six assists.
Lehi 72, Syracuse 46
The Pioneers got off to a fast start against the Titans. They built a 14-5 advantage in the first quarter which ballooned to 47-24 by the break and they went on to the big win from there.
Gonsalves completed 82 percent of his field goals, including 4-of-6 from long distance, finishing with 22 points and four assists. Amakasu scored 20 with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Hill added 10 points and Hawkins seven assists.
“I thought we brought good energy into that game,” Lewis said. “We got contributions from a lot of players. Noa had a good game, and Lucas Madsen and Braxton Hawkins gave us good minutes off the bench.”
Lehi 68, Farmington 48
Schedule considerations changed the Saturday opponent, and Lehi ended up facing the second-ranked Phoenix, who boast one of the best players in the state.
A quick start again proved to be the key as the Pioneers earned a 17-3 lead before Farmington knew what hit them. Lehi led 40-19 at the break and although the margin fluctuated during the second half, the Phoenix never seriously challenged the chances of a Pioneer victory.
Amakasu scored 21 with three treys, six rebounds and five assists. Gonsalves contributed 18 points, five boards, three assists and three steals, while Tyson Hawkins netted 13 with three triples, four rebounds and eight assists. Braxton Hawkins added five boards.
“I was pleased at our mental preparation coming into our third game in three days against a quality team,” Lewis said. “Peter did a nice job, on defense especially. Tyson was a great distributor and Noa shot another high percentage from the field and had an outstanding floor game.
“Tyler Trane and Grayson Brousseau did a nice job of handling the post in this game,” the coach added. This was particularly important since the Phoenix had a significant size advantage.
The Pioneers were ranked No. 3 in the preseason but moved up to No.2 after this victory. Region 7 rival Timpview retains the top spot.