Lone Peak (26-1) opened the season with 10 consecutive wins before being routed by Monteverde (Fla.) Academy, 66-45, but regrouped and reeled off 16 wins in a row including a season-ending 72-39 annihilation of Alta of Sandy on March 2 to capture the Utah 5A state championship. It was the Knights third straight state title and their sixth over the last nine seasons. Lone Peak, which has seven state crowns under its belt overall, is one of 10 basketball teams being honored on the seventh annual boys' MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard.
The school's football team was feted on the Tour of Champions for the 2011 season when the Knights were ranked 78th in the country.
"MaxPreps is thrilled to work with the Army National Guard to honor America's finest high school boys' basketball teams with the prestigious Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said President and Founder Andy Beal. "Coach Lewis and the Lone Peak Knights have proven on the court that they are among the nation's truly elite high school hoops teams. We salute the coach, the young men on the team and Lone Peak High School for a job well done."
"For years now MaxPreps has had the most thorough and in-depth coverage of high school basketball and for us to receive this honor is tremendous for the school, community and state," said Lone Peak head basketball coach Quincy Lewis, who completed his 10th season. These Knights in shining armor are a cumulative 72-5 (.935 winning percentage). Only once over the past seven seasons has one of his squads lost more than three games.
Lone Peak, which set a school record for most wins in a single-season with 26, featured a solid backcourt and had a dominating center. Senior Nick Emery led the team with an 18-point scoring average and made 63 three-point field goals. Junior backcourt mate T.J. Haws averaged 17 points and four assists per game and netted 66 three-pointers.
Six-foot-10 center Eric Mika, a senior, averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds while connecting on 67 percent of his field goal attempts. All three are headed to Brigham Young University in nearby Provo.
Utah Sergeant First Class Wondel Johnson presented Coach Lewis and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy at a community celebration Thursday evening. The team also received a banner for its accomplishments.
"For years, the Army National Guard has recognized nationally ranked basketball teams with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said Lieutenant Colonel Christian J. Johnson of the Army National Guard. "We take great pride in doing so because it symbolizes the indomitable spirit common to high school athletes and the U.S. Soldier. It is our honor to share this symbol with the team, coaches, parents, and school. It is an award for the entire community and is much deserved."
MaxPreps uses a sophisticated computer program, known as the Freeman Rankings, to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.