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Fort Myers, Fla. • Lone Peak left the 25-degree Utah weather behind for its trip to the City of Palms Classic, and the Knights came out hot in their opening win over Mississippi's defending Class 5A state champion, Callaway, on Wednesday.
Lone Peak endured a lot of physical play en route to a 60-42 victory.
Eric Mika was able to impose his will on Callaway inside, scoring 22 points and grabbing six rebounds.
"I played as physical as I can it was a rough game," Mika said. "We just kept fighting, and my guys were finding me in the middle."
Prior to the tip, the announcer remarked that Lone Peak is the No. 1-ranked team in the country according to MaxPreps.com, and the physical play was on display from that point on.
Lone Peak moved the ball well in the first, picking up six first-quarter assists to take an 18-7 lead after one. The second quarter was a different story, as the Knights connected on just three field goals due to quick 3-point shots outside of the offense.
"That's a little bit of the deal," coach Quincy Lewis said. "You have to take a little bit of the bad if you are going to get all the good."
Lone Peak (8-0) made the proper adjustments in the second half, scoring 18 third-quarter points, including two Nick Emery 3-pointers. Emery finished the game with 19 points on 5-for-11 shooting behind the arc.
Callaway (6-5) was able to cut the lead to 28-27 in the third with six minutes left, but Lewis decided to let his guys play through it. Lone Peak answered back with seven straight points to push the lead to eight, forcing a Callaway timeout with 4:54 left in the third.
The timeout seemed to only help Lone Peak, which was in the driver's seat the remainder of the night, outscoring Callaway 35-15 to close the game.
Lewis was even able to take all his starters out with 1:09 left in game, and they were met with a rousing ovation as they left the floor.
Lone Peak faces off against Chester (Pa.) Thursday at 2:15 MST. Chester enters the game with a 61-game winning streak and has 6-foot-7 Arizona commit Rondae Jefferson in its frontcourt.
"They're the favorite, and that will be a fun game for sure," Lewis said.