LAYTON — David slayed Goliath once again.
Only this time, is was a tough little guy named Davy Adams, who scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter to help lift Northridge to a 64-59 victory over crosstown rival Layton in the two teams' Region 1 boys basketball opener Friday night in the Knights' gym.
Adams — who's listed at 5-foot-10 in the Northridge program but admits that, on a good day, he'd have to spike his hair high up on top of his head just to reach 5-9 — saved his best for last against a lengthy Layton lineup whose front line of 6-9 Mike Hibbert, 6-6 Jarriesse Blackmon and 6-5 Marcus Kemp towered over the Knights, whose biggest kids stand just 6-3, if that.
"I'm the most competitive kid in the world," said Adams, who's been an All-State running back in football for the Knights the last two years. "And I don't care if it's football, basketball or checkers, I'm gonna try and win it. So at the end of the game, that's why I stepped up.
"They were playing off me all game, so I thought I'd take advantage of them not guarding me. I'm a captain on this team, so I felt they were giving me shots all game — they know I'm a football player — and I thought at the end I'll take control of those shots and make 'em down the stretch."
After Hibbert's three-point play pulled Layton within four points for the last time at 52-48, Adams used his quickness to his advantage in Northridge's spread offense, driving to the basket for back-to-back layups that extended the Knights' lead to 56-48.
But when Northridge's leading scorer, senior guard Preston Christensen, fouled out with 3:03 remaining, it looked like Layton might still have a solid shot to overtake the Knights down the stretch.
Blackmon's three-point play cut the deficit to five, 56-51, with 2:13 remaining, but Adams again drove past Layton's slow-footed defense for another layup, and free throws by Jesse Armitstead, Adams and Jacob Bigler offset a late flourish by the Lancers' Dallin Johnson in the closing seconds of play.
"We're a team and Preston's our man," Adams said, "but when he fouls out and isn't in the game, I knew someone would step up and I tried to take on that role tonight."
Northridge coach Chad Sims was proud of the way Adams, his fierce "little big man," stepped up when it counted most — and it didn't surprise the Knights' coach at all that he did.
"One of the reasons why Davy's so good is his heart is as big as a truck and he wants to win more than anything, and he competes at everything he does," Sims said. "I'd take a Davy Adams on any one of my teams any day — he's one of those guys that gives you everything he's got all the time.
"Davy had three or four layups right in a row and kind of took the wind out of them a little bit in that fourth quarter. Davy's that kind of kid who's waiting for his moment, waiting for his moment, and sometimes you have to rein him in a little bit. But I thought he took advantage of the situation and made it work for our team — (he's a) great teammate." Christensen scored a game-high 21 points for Northridge (1-0 Region 1, 8-5 overall); Adams finished with 13, and Bigler scored five of his 12 total in the fourth quarter. Armitstead, Dallas Bond and Dayan Lake also played vital roles in the Knights' victory.
For Layton (0-1, 7-7), Hibbert had 18 points, Blackmon scored 11 of his 15 in the second half and Johnson wound up with 14 — eight of those coming in the final minute.
"I thought, No. 1, we really rebounded well and then I thought we took care of the basketball," Coach Sims said. "I thought those were two keys going into the game that we knew we had to do really well, and I think we did that. ... I'm proud of the way our kids played hard and competed. "I thought our kids were patient, I thought we moved the ball really well, and that's one thing I feel like we've got is these kids like each other and their chemistry is really good, so it makes it easy to coach them.
"They're our crosstown rivals so our kids have grown up playing against 'em and they know who they are," Sims said of the Lancers after that undersized guy named David and his tough teammates took down "Goliath" one more time. "It wasn't a secret, we knew they were big and our kids know their kids really well. ... We've been undersized against everybody ... so we're used to it. The kids kind of thrive off of it."