As everyone expected, Lone Peak dominated Kearns in the opening round of the 5A state tournament Tuesday morning.
Nick Emery did his thing as usual finishing with 24 points on 4-of-8 shooting, while the Knights also dominated the glass.
Perhaps the most important thing to come out of the game for Lone Peak was the contributions of junior forward Talon Shumway. He looked comfortable in the Maverik Center from the opening tip finishing with nine points, six rebounds and five points.
It was a good bounce-back performance coming off a scoreless regular season finale against Bingham last week.
Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis said Shumway’s performance against Bingham was an anomaly. Since recovering from his football bumps and bruises, Shumway has been a very consistent player for the Knights the second half of the season.
“As far as all the other things on the floor he’s pretty dang good,” said Lewis.
Defense is still his bread and butter. Shumway is typically responsible for defending the other team’s best scorer, and on Tuesday that was Kearns 6-foot-8 center Dayon Goodman. The big man still finished with eight points, but eight of those points came with Shumway sitting on the bench during the final quarter and a half of the blowout.
“I want that to be my responsibility,” said Shumway about his defensive assignment.
Emery said that Shumway’s defensive intensity helps set the tone for the Knights each game.
“He frustrates guys, that’s what helps us be so good as a team. Even if he doesn’t score, he’s always on the best player on the other team defending. Nobody realizes how good he is for us and what he does for us,” said Emery.
For Lone Peak to go on and win the state title, Shumway must continue to play well in the state tournament.
During last year’s state title run, Shumway was arguably Lone Peak’s MVP the final two games. In a semifinal victory over Fremont he scored 12 points and added 11 rebounds. In the title game against American Fork, Shumway scored 19 points and added seven rebounds.
“The best thing about guys like (Talon), Barry (Berry) and Chase (Hansen), they don’t care, they just want to win. It’s important to our team from a chemistry standpoint,” said Lewis.