David Evans was told it’s a three-year process for a new coach to get a team to where you want it to be.

Three complete seasons officially concluded for Evans and his Lone Peak Knights on Saturday afternoon.

And Lone Peak is back at the top.

The Knights pulled away from Pleasant Grove in the third quarter and grabbed a 61-44 victory in the Class 6A boys’ basketball state title game at the Huntsman Center.

It’s the ninth boys’ basketball state championship for Lone Peak, but the first since the Knights took four in a row between 2011 and 2014.

“It usually takes about three years to start feeling like you know what you’re doing,” Evans remembered from his conversation with school administrators when he took the job before the 2015-16 school year. “The first year, I definitely didn’t know what I was doing. Last year, started figuring out a little bit more. This year, I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m glad the boys had success.”

The meeting between the two Region 4 teams was the third this season. The Knights, ranked No. 1 in the state, had edged the Vikings on the two previous occasions — the first by four points, the rematch by one.

This time, Lone Peak gained separation at the end of the third quarter and never looked back.

“I don’t know if surprise is the word because both of those games, we felt like we could have stretched the lead out,” Lone Peak guard Chantry Ross said. “I think we knew we had the capability.”

First, Lone Peak (23-3) had to get the lead.

Paced by Casey Brown’s 15 points and 11 rebounds and eight points from 7-foot-3 junior Matt Van Komen, Pleasant Grove (21-6) had a 28-27 advantage when Brown scored inside with 3:50 left in the third.

Then the momentum quickly went the way of the Knights. First came a pair of free throws from Jaxon Pollard, who ended up with 13 points, for a one-point lead.

Then Jackson Brinkerhoff nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 32-28.

“It got me going. I’ve had a tough time shooting this tournament, and I knew I just had to keep putting it up,” said Brinkerhoff, who finished with 12. “Eventually it would go in.”

After a Taylor Madsen bucket for Lone Peak, a crushing sequence for the Vikings occurred when Madsen stepped to the line to complete a three-point play.

Madsen missed the free throw, but the ball went out of bounds off Van Komen.

Pollard subsequently missed a 3-point try, but Pleasant Grove fumbled the ball out again. With only eight-tenths of a second left in the period, Brinkerhoff was left alone under the basket, and he made a shot off Steven Ashworth’s inbounds pass to make the score 36-28.

“We knew there wasn’t any time left,” Brinkerhoff said. “Van Komen kind of cheated to the strong side where the ball was. I looked right at Steven and said, ‘There’s no one here.’ He just got it to me quick, and I just put it up quick as I could.”

Evans said: ”The momentum was huge right there. That was a big play for us. I think a 10-point lead in a game like this is way different because it’s a low-scoring game.”

Ashworth led Lone Peak with 15 points, while Max Brenchley added 12 for the Knights. Of the six players who scored for the victors, only Pollard, a junior, is not a senior.

Ross, who was forced to watch most of the late action from the bench because he had four fouls, succinctly described the moment of triumph.

“It’s amazing. We’ve waited our whole lives for this,” he said.


• Lone Peak scores the last nine points of the third quarter, including an inbounds bucket with less than a second left, to go up 36-28.

• The Knights, who won the school’s ninth state title, get 15 points from Steven Ashworth while Jaxon Pollard (13), Max Brenchley (12) and Jackson Brinkerhoff (12) also get into double figures.

• Pleasant Grove 7-foot-3 junior Matt Van Komen finishes with eight points and 11 rebounds while Casey Brown leads the Vikings with 15 points.