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Paris Lee of Proviso East shoots a three over Lone Peak's Braden Miles. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Proviso East faced a tough situation playing nationally-ranked Lone Peak without star senior forward Sterling Brown. It is uncertain if having Shannon Brown and Dee Brown would have improved their chances against the Knights.
Powered by a 17-0 run to start the second half and all-around excellence of three BYU commits, the two-time defending state champions from Highland, Utah thrashed the No. 8 Pirates 84-46 in the Chicago Elite Classic Saturday at UIC.
Ranked No. 10 by USA Today, Lone Peak has won four state titles in the last six years in Utah’s largest class.
“This is a great event, and there are a lot of great teams here, but hands down, we played the best team here,” Proviso East coach Donnie Boyce said.
“Sterling’s a big part of what we do,” said Illinois State-bound senior point guard Paris Lee, who scored 10 points. “It was tough to be out there, and not have him against that kind of team. But we had to still have to go out play. I was upset with myself, that I didn’t step up more.”
Six-foot-10 senior Lone Peak center Eric Mika recorded 18 points and 15 rebounds. He threw down three monster dunks in the second quarter that punctuated the Knights’ dominance. “My guards all know how to look for me,” Mika said. “We started running in that second quarter, and I think it wore them down.”
Brown, an SMU-recruit, was sitting the second of a two-game game suspension imposed by Boyce after an altercation following their upset loss to Oswego last week.
Jevon Carter (team-best 22 points) scored nine of his 12 first-half points in the first quarter, helping the Pirates (3-2) stay within 16-14 at the end of the first quarter. Mika scored nine points in the second quarter, marked by three alley-oop dunks on fast breaks.
Lone Peak (2-0) turned the game into a rout by opening the quarter with a jaw-dropping 17-0 run. They converted three three-pointers during the burst. T.J. Haws, a 6-4 junior and BYU recruit, scored a game-high 24 points on 8-for-10 shooting. He made four three-pointers for the Knights.
Guard Nick Emery, the third BYU recruit, shook off a slow start and scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half.