TAYLORSVILLE — The Layton girls basketball team wrapped up the first day of the 5A state tournament with a decided victory. The Region 1 Lancers defeated the Lancers of Granger, 56-30, in the Monday evening nightcap at Salt Lake Community College.
“We were a little worried because they had Lile Havili back and she didn’t play the first time around,” Layton coach Van Price said, referring to the first time his team hosted Granger in the opening game of the season.
“She’s a quality, Division I-type player. Livia Treseder is undersized; we gave her that assignment to front (Havili) the whole game. She did a really good job.”
Havili, a 6-foot-1 center, led Granger with a team-best 14 points. Layton, however, found ways to score early and often, pulling ahead with a commanding lead by the end of the first quarter.
“We felt we could press them,” Price added, “so that’s what we did and it gave us a start. It got us going.”
Layton forced turnover after turnover, scoring on fast breaks and stolen inbounds passes to grab a 20-4 lead after the first eight minutes.
Layton junior Maddi Smith recorded a season-high 23 points and was 10 for 12 from the foul line to lead the game in scoring.
“She got a little bit sick and we got toward the tail end of the year, and I think it’s hurt a little bit,” Price said of Smith. “But she’s getting back now. I think she’s getting where she wants to be and back where we had her.”
Layton will meet Alta in the quarterfinals Wednesday in a 2:30 p.m. tipoff. Price said his team will have no problem being motivated to face the Hawks after releasing some jitters Monday.
“They’ve played Alta before, and they know that’s an intense game. I don’t think they’ll have any trouble getting up for that,” he said, “but you never know how these first games are going to go.”
That statement is illustrated by the upsets that took place throughout Monday’s games.
“Brighton was a No. 2 seed, lost; Viewmont was a No. 1 seed, lost; people have jitters and don’t come out quite like they thought,” Price added. “Or if they haven’t been to the state tournament before, sometimes that affects you. (Layton) was here last year; a lot of these girls got some good experience last year, so they know what it’s about. I know they were a little bit nervous but once the tip started, I think they got after it.”
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org