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The best team in Utah is once again dubbed as the best team in the nation.
On Monday morning, the Lone Peak Knights, at 17-1, were ranked as the No. 1 team in the country in the weekly MaxPreps.com Xcellent 25 National Basketball Rankings after spending the last few weeks as both No. 2 and No. 3.
The Knights have won seven straight games since their lone loss of the season a 66-45 loss to Montverde Academy in the City of Palms Classic championship game on Dec. 22 and look to be steamrolling toward a third consecutive Class 5A state title.
According to Jason Hickman of MaxPreps.com, "barring a string of extremely unimpressive victories down the stretch, Lone Peak probably controls its own destiny in the national championship chase." Hickman said there is no national tournament that crowns a nationl champion, instead the folks at MaxPreps.com decide on their own national champion.
The Knights are coming off a 75-49 victory over Region 4 rival Lehi Friday night in Highland. Lone Peak played minus senior star Nick Emery, who had to sit out the game due to a one-game suspension following his ejection in the Knights' 92-57 win over Bingham last Tuesday night. Senior center Eric Mika and junior guard TJ Haws led the way in the Lone Peak win over Lehi Friday, chipping in 22 points apiece.
With five regular-season games remaining, the Knights are getting stronger and more well-rounded as the season wears on. Seniors Conner Toolson and Talon Shumway both defensive ballhawks are starting to assert themselves on the offensive end of the floor and junior guard Zach Frampton is hitting timely shots off the bench.
Lone Peak's next game is Tuesday night at Riverton at 7 p.m.