Every time that Mark scored, Darrin would come down and score. Every time Darrin would score, Mark would. —Layton Christian head coach Bobby Porter
RICHFIELD — From the beginning of the tournament it was evident that both Layton Christian Academy and Summit Academy had a strong chance to meet in the final. Both sides met in the final and gave an exciting show at the guard position as Summit prevailed, 64-63.
The matchup between the Bears and Eagles featured some of the best guards in 2A basketball in Layton Christian Academy’s senior Mark Burton and junior Nicolas Aguirre and Summit Academy’s senior Darrin Gethers.
“The coaches and the players in the hotel said, ‘It’s your guys' battle, it’s a point guard battle. You guys are the two best in state,’” Gethers said.
Gethers punished the Eagles in the first quarter with his drives and deep 3-pointers. Burton took his turn with drives and 3-pointers of his own, but it was the Bears that came out of the first quarter with a five-point lead.
“It was a point guard versus a point guard battle for a minute,” Layton Christian head coach Bobby Porter said. “Every time that Mark scored, Darrin would come down and score. Every time Darrin would score, Mark would.”
Summit Academy’s lead was cut down quickly with another Burton 3-pointer. Aguirre was doing damage on the defensive end with steals and finishing with easy layups. Gethers responded with a 3-pointer and a pair of foul shots of his own as the Bears built up another lead after being tied.
At the end of the first half the Bears gained back their five-point lead. The guards dominated the first half, especially Burton and Gethers. Both knocked down three 3-pointers, but Gethers won the half with 18 points to Burton’s 13 points.
The third quarter started off similar to the first half with Gethers and Burton controlling the tempo and scoring. The lead was also yo-yoing as the Eagles would cut it down to one and Summit Academy would then push it back to four. The Bears’ senior Armani Montgomery stepped up for his team and knocked down a pair of shots to extend the lead to seven.
“I think [Montgomery] is the player of the game,” Gethers said, “just by his clutch shots. I found him, but he is the one that knocked them down.”
The third quarter finished with Summit Academy holding on to a four-point lead. Layton Christian Academy started off the fourth quarter forcing a pair of turnovers from the Bears, and Burton and Aguirre finished on the other side to tie the game.
Summit Academy’s senior Tyranny Pace took some of the pressure off Gethers in the fourth. Pace hit a deep 3-pointer to give the Bears the lead once more. Montgomery added another huge 3-pointer in the fourth as well.
Summit Academy had to go without Pace after he fouled out with a minute and a half left in the game and a five-point lead. Gethers knocked a pair free throws down in the final minute to maintain a Bears lead. Burton had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer at the buzzer but decided to go for two points instead. Summit Academy held the ball before inbounding it and burned off the final seconds to secure the win.
“He just saw an opening and took it,” Porter said. “He made it and thought there was a little more time on the clock.”
2A All-Tournament Team
MVP — Darrin Gethers, Summit Academy
Tyranny Pace, Summit Academy
Mark Burton, Layton Christian Academy
Nicolas Aguirre, Layton Christian Academy
Eric Wayment, North Summit
Bowdie Jacobson, Emery