Fort Myers, Fla. • Lone Peak entered Thursday's matchup with Chester (Pa.) as the underdog, but quickly began besting the team to beat in the City of Palms Classic, routing Chester 73-50.
The Knights played giant-killer in the quarterfinal, ending Chester's 61-game winning streak that spanned two consecutive Class 4A Pennsylvania state titles.
Nick Emery and T.J. Haws poured in 23 points each and shot a combined 14 for 30 from the floor and 6 of 18 from the 3-point line.
Haws was fouled three times on 3-point attempts, and he was able to convert each time. The junior shot 12 for 13 from the foul line.
"The basket was looking pretty big," Haws said. "It's nice to get to the line it gets the game going and your shot in a good flow."
Known for its full-court pressure, Chester opted to run a three-quarters-court press exhibiting respect for the Lone Peak ball-handlers.
Chester (3-1) couldn't find a handle on the ball, turning the ball over 20 times in a game where it was outplayed and outhustled throughout.
Lone Peak (9-0) kept the defense simple for the second night in a row, running a halfcourt man-to-man with a defender following Arizona commit Rondae Jefferson, who ended up with 19 points.
"Jefferson's the focal point of their offense, and he's a darn good player," Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis said. "We knew we had to know where he was at, man or zone."
For Jefferson, it was his first loss since his sophomore year at Chester since Dec. 30, 2010, to be exact.
"It hurts it hurts a lot, man," Jefferson said. "We aren't used to losing, so I can't really explain it."
The Knights stretched the lead to as many as 28 with 2:54 left in the fourth quarter, and 11 seconds later, Lewis took his starters out.
They trailed only once in the game, at the 7:34 mark in the first, 2-0 after a James Kirskey opening bucket for Chester. Haws followed that with a 3, and the Knights ran away with the win.
Lone Peak will play the winner of the Southwind (Tenn) vs. Lake Wales (Fla.) Friday at 4 p.m. MST in the semifinals.
Storylines Lone Peak 73, Chester (Pa.) 50
O Lone Peak snaps a 61-game winning streak for Chester (Pa.) with a rout.
• Nick Emery and T.J. Haws each score 23 points in the quarterfinal of the City of Palms Classic.