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ALTA DEFEATS LAYTON FOR EMOTIONAL VICTORY

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While teams are just trying to get a read on what they can do against an opponent in a uniform other than their own on opening night, Alta's 48-45 victory over Layton Wednesday night took on a little bit more meaning than that for the Hawks.

Make that a lot more.Last Sunday, the Hawks found out that teammate Tara Walton's father had been killed. Rather than avoid the awkward situation, the Hawks rallied around their teammate and spent Wednesday afternoon at the funeral and then gathered together for a team meal before the game.

"When we found out, if we had tried to avoid the whole situation and leave her alone it would have caused a big problem," Alta head coach Anita Stites said.

To show their added support for Walton, each player put two beads on their shoelaces with her father's initials, and the black wristbands they had planned on wearing before the season began took on an additional meaning as well.

Needless to say, a victory was what everyone wanted.

For Walton, just playing in the game was a victory in itself. Last year's team leader in points, rebounds, steals and blocked shots had major back surgery just over two months ago and really wasn't expected to play for another month. But after her back responded well to therapy, the senior found herself in the starting lineup.

While far from her usual physical playing condition, she produced a fourth quarter effort that helped her team rally for the win.

Layton's Elisa Noel scored 10 of her team-high 15 points in a first half that gave the Lancers a 22-15 halftime advantage. Alta's Brenda Maxfield scored eight of her team-leading 12 points in the third quarter as the Hawks cut the gap to 36-34.

Walton opened the final quarter with a three-point play and then added two tough turnaround jumpers that gave the Hawks a 44-38 lead with just under three minutes to play.

Layton rallied back for a 45-44 edge after a 3-pointer and two free throws by Noel. But Mindy Romig made a layup and Lindsay Logan hit two free throws with 15 seconds to play to seal the game, as a suffocating Alta defense did not allow the Lancers to get off a final shot.

Walton finished the game with 11 points, three rebounds and a victory.

"When she called me Sunday, she begged to come to practice. She didn't think I was going to let her play. It's kind of a release for her," Stites added. "I'm very proud and very impressed to see her get through this."

Elsewhere around the state:

Bear River 66, Roy 58: The Bears downed the Royals for an opening-day victory.

Cyprus 52, Lehi 48: An experienced Pirates squad, led by Katrena Ellett's 19 points, fended off the Pioneers. Katie Gillman had 13 points for Lehi.

Delta 69, Tooele 62 : Delta's Melissa Moony forced overtime with a late bucket. She finished with 18 and teammate Chelle Curtis had 19 for the Rabbits. Leah Roberts scored 20 for Tooele.

East 57, Timpview 47: Brooke Stevens and Kim Hamlet, who came off the bench, scored 12 apiece to lead the Leopards. Camille Freeze led all scorers with 15 points.

Emery 43, Uintah 41: The Spartans held of the Utes down the stretch to claim the victory. Uintah's Susan emmett led all scorers with 18 points.

Fremont 44, Viewmont 40: Amber Russell led the Silver Wolves with 12 points in a tight win over the Vikings.

Grantsville 51, St. Joseph 39: Jennifer Baird led the Cowgirls with 13 points. The Jayhawks were led by Marchell McEntee's 17.

Hunter 54, Brighton 47: Sophomore Kristy Slade came up big in her first game as she scored 19 points for the winning Wolverines.

Jordan 44, Ogden 41: Nicole Paul scored 20 points and Tiffany Pugmire netted 10 as the Beetdiggers edged last year's 4A champions. Ogden's Brooke Marcheschi had 17.

Juab 54, Park City 43: The Wasps made a whopping 29 free throws in their victory over the Miners.

Kearns 49, Highland 46: After outscoring the Rams 14-2 in the first quarter, the Cougars survived a rally to snatch the victory.

Logan 65, Pleasant Grove 54: Tonya Smart had 18 points and Kelly Wessels chipped in 17 for the Grizzlies, who held Logan to four points in the third.

Millard 56, North Sanpete 41: Suzanne Stevens led the Eagles with 20 points and teammate Mandy Christensen had 15 in the win.

Mountain View 65, Copper Hills 38: The defending 5A champion Bruins rolled to a big victory after a slow start. Sarah Pratt led Mtn. View with 19 points.

Northridge 49, West 40: Tracey Fink powered the Knights, who outscored the Panthers 17-6 in the first quarter, with 18 points.

Orem 32, Provo 26: In a low-scoring affair, the Tigers mustered a win over the neighboring Bulldogs.

Payson 69, Murray 32: The Lions had a balanced scoring effort from Tiffany Macey (18 points), Mel Trevort and Tina Macnaddoggtun .

Skyline 57, Bonneville 45: Sally Johnson had a superb outing, scoring 24 points and making 12 steals to lead the Eagles. Skyline's Holly Harris added 12 points; Brenda Hart had a team-high 15 points for the Lakers.

Sky View 84, Westside, Idaho, 49: The Bobcats literally stole a win as they tallied 23 steals in beating the Idaho foe.

Spanish Fork 42, Ben Lomond 34: The Dons outscored the Scots 16-7 in the final quarter for the opening-day win.

Union 55, Duchesne 42: Bev Richens netted 20 points for the victorious Cougars, while Duchesne's Ave Nuria led all scorers with 24.

Wasatch 71, North Summit 48: Carrie Summerhays scored 17, Melanie Wimpey had 16 and Tasha Widdison added 13 for the Wasps. Brianna Wilde notched 16 for North Summit.

West Jordan 68, Granite 41: Stacey Jensen nailed four 3-pointers and totaled 27 points as the Jaguars pounded the Farmers.

West Desert 55, SL Christian 29: Jessica Bates led the Hawks past the Dragonslayers. Andrea Roberts scored a game-high 18 for SLCA.

Tuesday's games

Region 14

Dugway 48, ICS 41: Heidi Bruce led all scorers with 21 points, including a pair of three-pointers.

SL Lutheran 63, Wendover 52: The Lynx got a strong showing from Jamie Watts, who scored 21 points.

Waterford 48, St. Joseph 46: Catie Nelson had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Wolves. Jayhawks' Marchelle McEntee scored 25.