The choir boy ain’t bad.
That’s what Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis said about T.J. Haws after the sophomore had a fantastic 5A semifinal performance in leading the Knights to a 68-56 victory over West Jordan.
“He’s a mentally tough kid. Like anybody, he’s got some competitive drive to him,” said Lewis. “He’s got the heart of a killer. He’s going to go for the throat.”
Haws finished with 22 points on 8 of 17 shooting, and added five points and five assists. In the quarterfinals two days earlier, Haws had 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals.
Often the second fiddle to junior Nick Emery, Haws is more than capable of being the star which he proved on Friday.
“I’m just trying to play my game, play my role and help my team win. If I need to score a little bit more than I’m going to do it,” said Haws.
The timing of some of his baskets against the Jaguars were huge. After West Jordan had trimmed Lone Peak’s 13-point halftime lead to 36-30, Haws drained a big 3-pointer to push the lead back to nine which kick-started a 10-0 run for the Knights. He scored nine of Lone Peak’s points in the third quarter.
He squashed another West Jordan rally early in the fourth quarter. After the Jags used an 8-2 run to trim Lone Peak’s lead to 52-44, Haws answered with another 3-pointer.
Haws was being hounded defensively all game, and even though he appeared to get frustrated at times, his older teammates were always there to help him keep an even keel.
“T.J.’s young. I was in that position freshman, sophomore year too. He’s got guys hanging on him, all over him. I was telling TJ, ‘just go make your shots.’ He knocked down a couple big shots when it got close there,” said Emery.