High School Hoops: Lehi wins 5A state title for first time in 23 Years

High School Hoops: Lehi wins 5A state title for first time in 23 Years

by Daniel Olsen

An hour prior to the start of this game, another high school in Davis County had celebrated the 6A championship. While the Davis Darts won that division, the 5A contest was all Utah County as the Lehi Pioneers won 61-57 over Farmington to earn their first boys basketball title since 1998.

Former BYU assistant coach Quincy Lewis accepted the position last year as the head coach of the Pioneers and had confidence then that they would win the championship. They believed and came in clutch when it mattered. Like the 5A football championship won by Orem, the basketball title was won by a team from Utah County.

In this competitive game, the best player was arguably Noah Gonsalves. He had 19 points and 13 rebounds which was good for the only double-double of any of the state championship games. His teammate Peter Amakasu is also deserving as he had a team high 21 points in the win.

Unlike the 6A matchup played prior, this game was won by the team that was trailing after the third quarter. After leading by six at half, the Pioneers surrendered a 19-10 run in the third quarter and their title hopes were being threatened by a team from Davis County.

However, this time the Utah County team did come through. The Pioneers saved the best for last as they exploded for 24 points in the fourth quarter. Gonsalves was responsible for over half of those points with 13 in the final eight minutes.

It took big scoring nights from Amakasu and Gonsalves to offset the game-high scorer that was Collin Chandler of Farmington. He had 23 points on the night. After going toe-to-toe with the top scorer in 5A, Gonsalves drew praise from his coach.

“He has a lot of confidence in himself, and he just fits in,” Lewis told the Deseret News. “He doesn’t force it. The thing about Peter is Peter can make hard plays. You’ve got to have guys that can make the hard play and he can do that.”

Fun Facts about 1998

With this being the first win in 23 years, there is plenty to look back on since the last time the Pioneers won a title. Take a look at some interesting facts about 1998.

• The top grossing movie was Armageddon at $201.6 million.

• The DVD player was just a few years old and starting to appear in many households.

• Grammy award winning song “You’re still the one” by Shania Twain was one of the highest rated songs on the singles charts.

• The Utah Utes and Utah Jazz became both took second place in the championship games at their respective levels.

• Michael Jordan took back the MVP trophy from Karl Malone and beat the Jazz in the NBA title for the second straight year.

• Cost of average home: $150,000

• Cost of a dozen eggs: $1.04

Featured image courtesy Trent Nelson, Salt Lake Tribune

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