Corner Canyon got a little bit of payback against American Fork Friday night in a 70-60 road victory over the Cavemen.
The game marked the first time the two schools had met since last season’s 6A title game, a contest that American Fork won by four points.
Friday, however, the Chargers took care of business, controlling the game from the get go to earn the win in what was the initial contest of Region 4 play for both teams.
“It’s game one of region, two heavyweights going at it.” Corner Canyon head coach Dan Lunt said. “Our kids made plays tonight and got stops when we needed it; got finishes when we needed it. It’s only one game, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
The contest was an important one, with both schools eager to get the edge over the other in Region 4.
“People don’t like Corner Canyon, they want to beat us,” Lunt said. “So we have to show up and play our best basketball when we play.”
The Chargers did that Friday by way of a three-headed monster of Jaxon Roberts, Max Toombs and Body Kozlowski. The trio of Corner Canyon players combined to outscore the entire American Fork team. Roberts led the way with 23 while Toombs and Kozlowski chipped in 21 and 17 respectively.
The Chargers took a 13-point lead late in the third quarter before needing to weather an American Fork comeback that saw the Cavemen inch to within three, with under five minutes to play. From there, Corner Canyon held American Fork to just six points, and pulled away for the double-digit win.
When asked about how his team pulled away down the stretch, Lunt said, “We’ve got some kids that are just smart kids and they’ve been in these situations. … This group has played for a state championship, been to a Final Four. … Those situations are invaluable and they responded tonight; did a great job.”
After going back and forth with American Fork for the better part of the first quarter, Corner Canyon took the lead and never trailed again.
The Cavemen were led by Blake Rawson, who finished the evening with 17 points. Tiger Cuff and Ashton Wallace each scored in double figures for American Fork as well; Cuff with 12 and Wallace 10.
The Chargers’ victory extends their winning streak to seven games and keeps the school unbeaten on the road against the Cavemen all time.
“I don’t know what’s happened in the past,” Lunt said. “What matters is right now, and it’s a new year and we’ve just got to do things the right way.”
Corner Canyon has started 2023 just how it wanted. But Friday’s win is only a stepping stone for what the school hopes to accomplish.
“It’s one game,” Lunt said. “If you don’t come tomorrow, one game means nothing. It’s just something that you’ve got to back up every time you come to the floor.”
The Chargers will look to do that when region play resumes for both schools next week. Corner Canyon welcomes Westlake to Draper while American Fork hits the road for a contest against Pleasant Grove. Both games are scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30 pm.