Best atmosphere of all the rivalries we have. I love these games. —Layton's Truman Brown
LAYTON — Layton and Davis traded 8-zip runs late in the fourth quarter on Friday, but fortunately for the Lancers their run was the latter.
After Davis scored eight straight points late in the fourth taking its first lead since before halftime, Layton responded by scoring the final eight points of the game en route to the 60-53 victory in the intense Region 1 opener.
Chase Potter hit the go-ahead runner in the lane with 1:01 remaining, and then Layton iced the game from there with six consecutive free throws for the rivalry win.
“It’s only one, but it’s a big one to set the tone and hopefully put everyone else on notice that we’re legit,” said Layton coach Kelby Miller. “The main thing now is not to have a let down on Tuesday.”
Layton countered with a couple of big performances of its own, which included an offensive star and defensive star.
Truman Brown scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, including four clutch free throws in the final minute. During a key two-minute stretch to end the third quarter he scored six of Layton’s eight points burying three contested shots.
All the heroics came while playing with a heavily taped ankle after he landed sprained his ankle with 49 seconds left in the first half.
“I walked past him at the training table, and his ankle was as big as I’ve seen one,” said Miller. “Trainer did her best Mr. Miyagi impression and taped him up.”
Adrenaline kept Brown going in the second half, as there was no way he was going to miss his senior year Davis home game.
“Best atmosphere of all the rivalries we have. I love these games,” said Brown.
The unsung hero for Layton was Connor Hill, who had nine rebounds and just three points. It’s what he did defensively that was the key to the game.
When Davis’ Tyson Garff stroked his fourth 3-pointer of the game in the opening minute of the second quarter, Layton’s coach immediately made a defensive switch and moved Hill to the hot hand. He completely shut down Garff the rest of the way as the junior scored just one point and rarely even touched the ball.
“Connor is just one of those guys, just a defensive wizard. People don’t get credit for it, but he does an amazing job for us,” said Miller.
Hill even outscored Garff after the defensive switch. He scored his only points on a baseline 3-pointer with 3:50 left in the game to put Layton ahead 52-45.
That’s when Davis responded with an 8-0 run to take a 53-52 lead when Brendon Redford knocked down one of two free throws with 1:01 remaining.
Layton quickly came down and regained the lead 11 seconds later on Potter’s jumper, which Miller doesn’t believe is an accident.
“Obviously we play the preseason that we do with just about anybody who’s anybody. We try to play them to get ready for these games,” said Miller.
Potter finished with 14 points for Layton, with Brooks Kokkola adding 10.