LAYTON — With 3 1/2 minutes left, the tide completely changed.
Up until that point, the visiting Fremont girls basketball team had controlled the ball, the play in the paint, the lead in the game, and the lead in the Region 1 standings.
But as time wound down in the fourth quarter on Tuesday evening, the Layton Lancers used an opportune timeout to refocus on their game plan and ultimately pull away with a 41-33 win at home.
“It changed the momentum,” Layton head coach Van Price said of the 60-second conversation, which came after Jaden Anderson hit a bucket to give Layton a one-point lead, its first since just after halftime.
“We just needed to be smart with our offense,” he said. “We’d thrown the ball away a few times.”
To start the second half, Fremont capitalized on multiple Layton turnovers, opening with a 7-0 run and establishing a six-point lead. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the period and into the fourth, until Anderson’s late basket.
The 6-foot-2 senior, who was fouled on her jumper, hit the free throw to give Layton a 34-32 edge. On their next possession, the Lancers controlled the ball for more than 30 seconds before taking a shot.
“It was just a matter of wearing them down and making a lot of passes and running our motion,” Price said. “I told them things would break open, and I thought that’s what happened. We broke open, got some opportunities there.”
The patience on offense led to confidence on defense as Layton came up with a handful of deflections and steals and ultimately outscored the Silver Wolves 7-1 in the final 1:23.
“Megan Benson came in right about that time,” Price said. “I wanted speed and she got a steal, deflection, really helped out with that speed and energy.”
Senior guard Cassidy Anderson followed up with stellar defense, and then capped Layton's win off with two separate coast-to-coast layups, one of which came with just 7.1 seconds left on the clock.
“We really wanted to get back and beat (Fremont) since they beat us on a buzzer-beater last time,” Cassidy Anderson said, referring to the Silver Wolves’ 58-57 victory on Shelbee Molen’s last-second shot three weeks ago.
“We focused on the mental part of the game today. We tend to get down on ourselves when we make a mistake and working on the mental part will keep us in the game.”
Jaden Anderson led the Lancers with 13 points while Cassidy Anderson and Hailey Bassett scored eight points apiece. Senior forward Kealani Sagupolu led Fremont with 10 points, Amanda Wayment had eight, and Molen had five with one 3-pointer.
The comeback victory moves Layton into a tie with Fremont at the top of the region standings, but both teams have two games remaining before state tournament seeds are determined.
“Shoot, they’re a good team and I think we’re a good team,” Price said. “We’ve got Northridge (and) we’ve got Viewmont left on our schedule, and hopefully we can get both of those. They’ve got two games that they’ve got to get and if it’s a tie, then we’ll flip a coin. But there’s a lot of basketball left to be played before we can think of anything else.”
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.