Box score

The Lone Peak Knights are the two-time defending state champions in Utah’s 6A girls basketball ranks.

Winning the first title and posing with the trophy was a thrill. Last year was more difficult, but the Knights took advantage of their experience and talent to turn away each opponent. When the 2023 season started, coach Nancy Warner had another impressive squad and she prepared her club by scheduling difficult out-of-state teams.

The Knights (17-6) started slower than expected, but have kept improving and dominated Region 3. They showed how much Wednesday afternoon by rolling past Corner Canyon 63-40 in a 6A semifinal and will be right where they want to be Friday – again at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

“We haven’t played for a championship here (at the University of Utah’s arena), so it means a lot,” said Warner. “The players knew they wanted to return to the big game and all that’s left is one thing. Finish it.”

Shawnee Nordstrom led the way with 20 points, but the big story was actually how Lone Peak started. The Knights scored the game’s first 18 points and were never really threatened. They built the margin eventually to 30 points and Warner was especially please that everyone of her nine-player roster got into the game and nobody was hurt, even when the game began to get more physical.

Kennedy Woolston added 18 points and eight rebounds and Naia Tanuvasa had a complete outing with 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and three blocks as Lone Peak felt more comfortable after enduring a tough outing against region foe Westlake (59-50) Monday.

Warner said she could tell before the game that her team looked ready.

“We had a great start. The best way you can start a game, really,” she said. “The girls played tough and they really looked like they were playing together.”

High school girls basketball: 6A/5A/4A/3A/2A/1A state tournament scores and schedules

Just as importantly, the Knights never let Corner Canyon get into a rhythm. The Chargers did rally in the third period and got to within 19 points. Then Sarah Bartholomew scored a pair of baskets, Nordstrom got free for a layup, Woolson buried a 3-pointer and then added two more jumpers to put the game away and move their focus to Friday, where the third-seeded Knights will appear as the underdog in the title contest against Copper Hills.

Corner Canyon finished its season with a 16-9 record. Center Elina Mortensen led the Chargers with 11 points and nine rebounds. Maia Rhay added eight points.