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High school basketball: Layton takes down Syracuse in Region 1 tilt

By Jolene Goff

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 16 2011 7:07 a.m. MST

LAYTON — Layton guard Brandon Kida scored a game-high 16 points and center Rees Checketts added 15 more in leading the Lancers to a 61-57 Region 1 victory over the Syracuse Titans Tuesday night.

Kida hit a pair of 3-pointers and went 6-of-7 from the line en route to his game-high tally, while 6-foot-7-inch Checketts added five field goals and went 5-of-8 from the line on the night.

With the win, the Lancers (10-9, 9-5) pull into a fourth-place tie with Syracuse (12-7, 9-5) in the league standings. Syracuse won the first meeting between the two teams 65-57 on Jan. 14.

"This season has been long and grueling for everyone," said Layton Coach Kelby Miller. "Region 1 has some really tough teams and we've had to come out playing hard every game to stay in the running for a region playoff berth."

The win was the Lancers’ fourth straight, while the Titans suffered their second straight setback.

The Lancers were fired-up at the opening buzzer, scoring four quick points and setting the pace for the entire contest. Layton's early scoring in the first period brought almost immediate substitutions to Syracuse's starting line-up. The Titans, who were playing without two starters, struggled to find a player combination that could stop the Lancers.

At the end of the first quarter Layton led 17-11.

Layton’s Eric Campbell and Parker Lunt hit 3-pointers early in the second quarter to increase the Lancers’ lead to 10. The Titans shifted their line-up again and managed to close the gap to within five points at the end of the half at 29-24.

Miller made some halftime adjustments that really heated up the Lancers' performance. The Titans once again found themselves scrambling to find a line-up that could slow down the Lancer onslaught. Layton pulled ahead 11 points in the third quarter with the period ending at 45-34.

Syracuse’s Jared Hall dropped a 3-pointer early in the final quarter to cut the lead to five, but the Lancers kept the Titans at bay by hitting their shots from the foul line.

“First and foremost, we have to play hard and compete,” Miller said. “That’s what matters most. Everyone on the team really stepped up tonight to pull out this win.”

Nick Winegar led the Titans with 14 points, making 8-of-11 free throw attempts, while Hall followed with 13 total points. He went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

“We have a great bunch of kids,” said Syracuse Coach Justin Nelson. “They work hard, play tough and execute well. We’re working hard like everyone else to ensure our place in the playoffs. Layton came after us hard, and we just weren’t able to make up the early points.”

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