The Layton Christian Academy boys basketball team reclaimed the state 2A trophy Wednesday night at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
The Eagles resisted a second half surge from Enterprise to win the game 60-53.
“We know Enterprise is a great team,” said Layton Christian coach Bobby Porter. “We knew even if we got the lead, Enterprise was going to come up on us.”
“It took teamwork. All through this whole season coach Porter said, ‘There is no ‘I’ in team and we had to work together to get it,’ and that’s what we did.” — Layton Christian senior Trey Means
Enterprise did take the first lead as Adam Holt was first to break the ice in the game with a two-pointer from under the hoop. LCA’s Jerheim Elder answered with a 3-pointer. Enterprise took the lead back on the next shot, and inside jumper from Tyler Hiatt with 3:47 to go in the first period. It was the last time the Wolves would be ahead.
“I told the team that the first four minutes was going to be crazy,” Porter said. At that point the Eagles found a rhythm and started building a nearly insurmountable edge.
Nine of LCA’s players scored during the game. Elder led the charge with 19 points, including three 3-pointers.
Souleymane Barro was vital for LCA through the first half as he pulled down six rebounds.
By halftime, the Eagles were up 36-15, but Enterprise wasn’t finished by any means. The Wolves outscored LCA 38-24 in the second half of the game, thanks in part to a volley of 3-pointers and some icy free-throw shooting.
“We kind of slacked off a little bit, but then we caught ourselves and we finished off the game,” said Elder, a junior.
With 40.7 seconds to go, Enterprise had clawed its way back to within five points.
“I’ve lost one at the buzzer here before, so I’m always scared,” Porter said.
However, LCA’s Timmie Olubsi, Kevin Guir and Shorn Soloman each took turns at the foul line and made all of their shots in the final 40 seconds of the game to shut down the rally attempt.
“They never quit,” Porter said. “I was just thankful we made our free throws when we had to.”
The win makes the fifth for head coach Porter and LCA, and the first since 2019.
It was a game Porter didn’t know if he’d be able to see due to a COVID-19-related health scare early in the season.
“I knew I had to come back and coach these guys,” Porter said. While he was out, he relied on his coaching staff, who met the challenge.
“They did a fantastic job while I was out,” Porter said. His assistant, Ed Thompson, has been with him for all five of his championships at the helm of LCA’s team. Thompson, a member of Idaho State University’s hall of fame, was able to step in and keep the program on task without missing a beat, Porter said.
As LCA transitions to 3A next year, Porter said he anticipates the team will continue to shine.
“We have a very young team, and they work hard,” Porter said.
“If you work hard, you get the prize,” said Barro, a sophomore. “We’re going to try and get it back to back.”
“It took teamwork,” said Trey Means, a senior. “All through this whole season coach Porter said, ‘There is no ‘I’ in team and we had to work together to get it,’ and that’s what we did.”
Deseret News all-tournament players
MVP — Jerheim Elder, Layton Christian
Souleymane Barrow, Layton Christian
Tyler Hiatt, Enterprise
Ky Brown, Beaver
Krue Stubbs, Parowan
Breckon Nelson, Enterprise