KAYSVILLE — With a front line that includes two players who are at least 6-foot-8, and coming off a semifinal finish at the 6A state tournament last year, the Layton Lancers were expected to be a formidable force in Region 1 this season.
The Lancers came into Friday night’s matchup against the Davis Darts with just a 7-4 overall record but were 4-0 in region. They took on the perennial power Darts in a battle for first place, and Ethan Potter’s 25 points were just enough to give Layton a 54-51 overtime victory over a gritty Davis team.
“It’s always going to be a great game, even if the teams are good or bad,” said Layton coach Kelby Miller.
The contest normally would have drawn a capacity crowd, but state coronavirus rules kept the gym well below capacity. Still, the game was close and unresolved until Potter made the deciding play.
With 36 seconds left in the extra session, Potter rebounded a teammate’s errant 3-point attempt and scored while being fouled. The ensuing free throw gave Layton its final margin.
Davis had a chance to tie, but the Darts were frustrated by the Lancers’ defense. There were several times when they were unable to score when needed, and failed again the final time.
“It was a super physical game,” said Potter, who also had 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. “We have a lot of length and really hustled when we had to. This was a good win for us and a good game for our younger players to experience.”
Layton started quickly, as Potter, Carter Mayfield and Preston Squire assisted on easy baskets for a 6-0 lead. Davis stayed close as Austin Frasure and Rex Sunderland had several steals, and Frasure and Colby Sims also made some timely 3-pointers.
The Darts actually took a six-point lead midway through the fourth quarter and also held the ball for the final minute of regulation with the score tied 49-49. Coach Chad Sims took two timeouts in the final eight seconds in order to inbound and set up a specific final shot, but the best Davis could do was a 3-point attempt by Chance Trujillo from deep in the corner that fell short.
Layton took advantage of the momentum swing and, at 6-foot-10, Squire scored inside on Layton’s first possession of overtime, and then each team’s defense forced poor shots or offensive fouls to frustrate their opponent.
Someone had to make a big play, and that was Potter.
“It’s always great to come here (to Davis) and get a win,” Potter said. “(Without a big crowd) it didn’t feel the same, but the teams were just as intense on the court and a lot of fun.”