It’s a second game in a row for Utah’s Lone Peak Knights against a Southern California squad. Fairfax slowed the pace to a crawl yesterday and was close before losing to powerful La Lumiere (Ind.) 29-20 in the semifinal round. Prior to that, the Lions defeated Mid-Pacific 60-37 and ‘Iolani 47-43.
Lone Peak defeated Farrington 89-24 on the first day, then edged Mount St. Joseph 47-46 in the quarterfinals before losing to Sierra Canyon on Monday 73-45.
This is the third-place game.
Defense, defense, defense. You wouldn’t think this was a non-championship game the way both teams are playing tight man defense. It’s 7-6, Fairfax, with 2:03 left.
Donald Gipson had a clean steal on a pass but missed the layup after deciding not to dunk. Knights push the ball up and Duke-bound Frank Jackson nails the corner 3. Lions lead 10-8 after one quarter.
Nobody scored for more than 3 minutes. Then Frank Jackson nailed a long 3 from the top. For the most part, neither team is making layups and every single shot is being contested. Or I’m absolutely wrong and it’s just that nobody can shoot tonight.
Ethan Anderson splits two defenders at the rim and scores, draws the foul. That gives FAX a 16-15 lead with a few seconds left. He misses the FT.
Jackson scores inside and takes a lot of contact. He’s on his back, gets up, not happy. The Knights score again and go up 20-16, but after that, Jackson is called for a foul as he battles for offensive position on the post. Now he’s pissed. He’s barking at an official about it. Next possession, lead pass to Jackson and he throws it down.
Next possession, fastbreak and he spots up in the left corner. All net. Frank Jackson is a bad man. That’s a 9-0 run.
Jamal Hartwell’s composure is key to the Lions. He feeds Babacar Thionbane on a 2-on-1 and gets the ball right back for a layup. Then he drives and feeds the big man for a shot and he’s fouled. Lions hanging tough, trailing 27-22, 2:41.
Jackson was out for a breather, but he’s back in, hits a mid-range J. He’s on fire. 29-23, 1:40.
He caps the quarter with two FTs, :03.3 left. Lone Peak has a 33-23 lead after three quarters.
Anderson at the line, 7:11. Makes both FTs, 33-25.
Another forced entry pass try to Jackson in the post, and for the second time in a row, deflection, turnover. The Lions push upcourt and feed Thionbane for a layup.
Jackson fouled on an elbow jumper. Hits both FTs, 35-27.
Fairfax miss, and the Knights run. Jackson goes up for a two-handed jam and is partially blocked by Thionane. Foul on Lone Peak and Anderson goes to the line again. He hits both FTs, 35-29, 5;57.
Miscommunication on the press breaker and Jackson throws the ball across the court and out of bounds. Anderson hits a double-pump jumper in the lane. 35-31, 5:19.
Matt Brenchley hits a foul shot, but now it’s Hartwell who hits a J in the key. 36-33.
Baseline J by Max McGrath to give Lone Peak a 38-33 lead.
Hartwell with an elbow J, 38-35.
Brenchley hustles for an offensive board, but Anderson strips the ball. Fairfax misses an open 3, gets the board. Time out, FAX, 3:11.
The Lone Peak bench tells their defense to double team Hartwell, but he dishes to Lawrence McKee on the right wing and McKee drains a 3 to tie the game. Turnover by the Knights downcourt, and Anderson goes the distance for a layup and the lead. FAX leads 40-38. Time out, Lone Peak, 1:50
Jackson fouled away from the rim, 1-and-1 time, 1:37. Rattles the first FT in. Swishes the second, 40-40.
Thionbane drives into the paint and dishes to Hartwell at the rim, but the pass is stolen. Lone Peak time out, 1:04. Coach Harvey Kitani is not happy at all with his guys. They had a chance to hold the ball for a last shot and win. Still lots of time.
FAX double teams the ball and the gamble pays off. Nate Harkness settles for a pull-up 3 and it’s short. FAX gets a layup by McGee at the other end, 42-40. Then Jackson tries a 26-foot 3, way short. Anderson hits one of two FTs with :17.1 left.
FAX leads 43-40 and it’s at the most crucial time of the game that the usually intelligent Knights had two brain farts on offensive decisions. Why a 3 when you just need to take the lead? Take the ball to the rim and get fouled. Hold for the last shot. But if Harkness had made the 3, he’s a hero, of course. We’d probably go to OT.
Both teams in the double bonus so it’s possible Kitani told his guys to give a foul, Jackson brings the ball up, executes a perfect pick-and-pop with Harkness, but again, his 3 is short. This was from NBA range.
Thionbane fouled with :04.2 left. He hits the first. Misses the second. The Lions leave Jackson alone as he misses a 40-foot 3-point try at the buzzer. FAX wins 44-40.