WEST JORDAN — The Layton boys basketball team traveled down to Copper Hills on Tuesday and stole a 66-58 win in both a literal and figurative sense.
You can forgive Layton coach Kelby Miller for not knowing the exact number of turnovers his team created throughout the win, as his team doesn't keep track, and there were a lot to count.
"The number I can give you is 'a lot,'" Miller said with a big grin after addressing his team postgame. "That's what we thrive off of, and that's what really worked for us tonight."
Most of the steals came during a game-changing third quarter of action, and then into the early minutes of the fourth.
Down 34-25 at the half, Miller's team employed a full-court press that frustrated the Grizzlies' offensive attack considerably. The Lancers didn't suddenly take back the lead, but they steadily wore Copper Hills down with their high pressure and finally tied the score at 44-44 with 1:30 left in the third quarter off a three-point play by Chase Potter.
Layton then took its first lead of the night at 46-44 on a driving basket by Skyler Turner early in the fourth.
"We're not a press-first type team, but we have it if we need it," Miller said. "We weren't playing at our normal tempo, so we needed something to get us going and luckily for us it worked out."
What wasn't working out for Copper Hills was the foul tally — particularly those assigned to starting guard Jacob Jensen. The senior picked up his fourth foul just after the half, forcing him to sit out most of the third quarter, before fouling out just a few minutes into the fourth quarter.
Layton took full advantage of Jensen's absence, putting his replacements off the bench to a stern early-season test.
"As we picked up the pressure those secondary ball-handlers weren't dealing with it well and we were able to roll a bit in that second half and especially during those first few minutes of the fourth quarter," Miller said.
A 13-2 run to start the fourth quarter gave the Lancers a commanding 57-46 lead, which it maintained until the closing minutes of the game.
On the offensive end, it was a balanced effort getting the job done, with Turner and Potter scoring 16 points apiece and Truman Brown adding 15. Copper Hills was led by Joe Wilson and Tryven Allfrey, who scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.
"This was a good win for us against a very good team, and we like to play the best teams we can in the preseason," Miller said. "It's worked well for us going into region in the past, and getting a good win here tonight is a good thing for us early in the year."
With the win, Layton improves to 4-2 on the season and will next travel to take on Riverton. Copper Hills falls to 4-3 with the loss.