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Lehi boys hoops adds two more wins

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The Lehi boys basketball team continues on its early-season roll as the Pioneers notched another pair of victories last week over in-state teams. They are now 6-0. After one more local game this week, they’ll be heading to a big post-Christmas tournament in California (see separate story).

Dec. 12: Lehi 87, Taylorsville 51

The Pioneers took control from the opening whistle on the road and coasted to a win over the Warriors while the reserves got some good developmental time.

Lehi’s jump-start moved them ahead 23-6 after the first quarter and they led 53-18 at the half after shooting 60 percent from the field and 71 percent from the line. Seven players netted at least one of the 12 triples the team made in the contest, and they outrebounded their hosts 35-17.

Even more telling was the story of the turnovers. The Pioneers made six steals and their defense helped force Taylorsville into 16 turnovers, but they didn’t give the ball away once. The squadis averaging just 6.8 turnovers per contest through the first six games.

Junior wing Easton Hawkins shot 50 percent or better from all ranges and finished with 21 points including three treys, six rebounds and three assists to lead out in the effort.

Freshman wing Ashton Shewell added 14 points, three boards and two assists, while senior guard Cooper Lewis contributed 13 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Senior forward Gabe Cowan registered a double-double of 11 points with 12 rebounds and had three assists and a block as well.

Senior forward Grayson Brousseau was perfect from the field and the line for eight points. Senior forward Cy Hansen had seven points and senior guard Bryson Bromley scored five to go with six assists and a pair of steals. Junior forward Drew Durrant also had five points.

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“We really came out and played well as a team,” said Coach Quincy Lewis. “We made the extra pass and gave good effort.”

Dec. 15: Lehi 61, Highland 49

Lehi had a big, enthusiastic crowd on hand as the home team took on a talented Rams team for Junior Pioneers and Junior Cheer night. The keys were containing Highland’s 6-foot-11 center and their athletic point guard, and the Pioneers were ultimately successful in doing both.

It didn’t happen without an all-around team effort. Lehi’s players spent the first quarter trying to get the measure of the visitors while having a difficult time finding the hoop – all, that is, except senior guard Cooper Lewis, who kept his team in the game by scoring 17 points including five triples.

The Pioneers ended the initial period with a narrow 19-16 advantage, but the game was really won in the second quarter, when a combination of hot shooting and stiff defense yielded a 17-3 edge to the Lehi squad.

Brousseau opened the period with two baskets and a trey on consecutive possessions with defense-forced turnovers in between to push the gap to double digits in about two minutes at 26-16.

Then it was Cowan’s turn to shine on offense as he turned a mid-court steal into a fast-break layup and later added a pair of free throws and a jumper inside the key to further pad the margin. It was 36-19 at the break.

The Rams actually outscored the Pioneers in the second half but they were only able to reduce the deficit, not overcome it. Lewis shot 7-of-11 (64%) from long distance and 50 percent overall to finish with 27 points plus nine rebounds and three assists.

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Cowan made all five of his shots from the floor and was 3-of-4 (75%) at the line. He also had six boards, four steals, a couple of assists and a block.

“We knew they were big and had talent,” Cowan said. “We had a hard practice on Monday and then simulated their plays with the JV all week. We knew if we did a job on No. 11 (their point guard), we could contain them, and we were able to do that for the most part.”

Cowan added, “The steal and layup helped turn things around right there. We got six more points right after that and we kept playing defense for the rest of the game and were able to come out with a win.”

Brousseau shot 50 percent for the night and provided 11 points with three assists im minutes limited by foul trouble. Hawkins scored 10 and Bromley had four assists.

“It was really fun to have our Junior Pioneers here tonight and our Junior Cheerleaders were fantastic as well,” said Coach Lewis. “I thought our team responded great to some deep foul trouble. We got really solid minutes from Jace John, Drew Durrant and Cole Welch.

“Cooper carried us through a tough stretch in the first half,” he added. “Gabe gave the team a jolt off the bench. Overall, I was pleased with our effort against a quality opponent.”

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