TODAY

TODAY   |  February 28, 2013

Utah high school boasts nation’s top hoops team

The 17- and 18-year-old members of Salt Lake City’s Lone Peak Knights are passing, shooting, and dunking their way to a No. 1 ranking, and breaking stereotypes along the way. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> the top ranked high school basketball team in the entire country. they come from a place you might not expect. here's nbc's miguel almaguer.

>> reporter: they sit in the wasatch mountains far from the street courts of new york city or chicago. yet the nights are spent in a dunking way to a number one national ranking. coach quincy lewis says opponents are rarely intimidated by his clean cut squad.

>> they wonder what the chess team from utah is doing.

>> reporter: quickly they learn looks can be deceiving. the night of pure showtime.

>> we like to run up and down the floor. that's our style of play.

>> reporter: and they win big, blowing out opponents by an average of 28 points per game. they cross crossed the country playing in tournaments against big city teams. surprised to see a running gun squad from utah.

>> they like the pressure and they like to run. that's really something that has been really kind of reserved for inner city teams.

>> reporter: tyrone's team from chicago lost to lone peak last year. he's candid about how the all white team defies racial expectations.

>> they play exactly the play people would consider to be an african-american or black team to play.

>> people don't look at us as the dominant team. they don't think we're good and we will come out and prove it and show we have worked hard and we've brought it.

>> reporter: some of the knights have been playing together since the second grade. basketball isn't their only religion. next year, two seniors will play at brigham university after they complete a mission for the mormon church .

>> i got called to serve in frankfurt, germany.

>> reporter: right now, they serve in another way and coach slaughter says they're breaking stereotypes.

>> they play basketball the way people enjoy seeing basketball played. not a white game or black game , a basketball game and that's the way they play it.

>> reporter: and game is exactly what these boys have.

>> reporter: they play for a state championship on saturday and if they win, it would be their fifth in seven years.

>> something in the cooking in lone peak . no question about