Tuesday , January 02, 2018 - 9:23 PM
ROY — Kelby Miller walked into the visiting locker room where the Layton boys basketball players were changing clothes Tuesday.
There was no rousing postgame speech or celebration when the Lancers head coach brought the team together for a huddle that lasted less than 30 seconds. There were only the phrases, “Just a tuneup” and “Everyone’s 0-0.”
If Tuesday’s 73-34 win at Roy was any indication, the Lancers’ engine doesn’t need much more maintenance before their region opener against Davis.
Once Layton trailed 9-5 early in what was shaping up to be an entertaining first quarter, the Lancers shifted into sixth gear and embarked on a 28-3 run that lasted all the way to the latter half of the second quarter.
End of 1: Layton leads Roy 20-11. Truman Brown has 9 points for the Lancers pic.twitter.com/UNqvHA8NS2— Patrick Carr (@patrickcarr_) January 3, 2018
“Limiting them to no second-chance points and just moving the ball on the offensive end (were the keys to the run),” senior guard Truman Brown said.
Their man-to-man defense forced the Royals into tough shots. They allowed very few offensive rebounds, they shot 20-of-28 from the free throw line, they got out in transition and they took smart shots.
The run wasn’t so much a gut punch to Roy, rather it was a steady and methodical takedown, a technical knockout in boxing terms.
“We haven’t played in almost two weeks, so to see us fly around and get after it defensively was really what I was looking for. The offensive side of things will take care of itself,” Miller said.
The Lancers didn’t have too many situations where they had to run half-court sets since a lot of their possessions were on the fastbreak and at least a dozen others ended at the free throw line.
Senior guard Truman Brown led Layton with 19 points, 11 of which came in the first quarter. Skyler Turner, who is somehow playing at full speed seven months after tearing his ACL, chipped in 12 points including a 6-of-8 mark from the charity stripe.
Junior guard Jake Parkin entered the game in the second half and ended up leading Roy in points with nine.
The Royals lost their fifth game in a row, but they don’t start region games for another two weeks and will get some much-needed practice time in the coming days.
The key for head coach Terry Schriver and company is to keep the team from going too far downhill before the games “matter,” and with the way Region 5 boys basketball looks at the moment, a 5-3 team could plausibly win it.
“The big thing we’re stressing is it’s not the end of the world... I mean we’re going to see great teams, but (Layton is) a 6A powerhouse for a reason. I keep telling them: Jan. 19, everyone’s 0-0,” Schriver said.
Layton leads 55-27 after 3. But check this sweet move by Roy's Jake Parkin pic.twitter.com/kewvDLrctR— Patrick Carr (@patrickcarr_) January 3, 2018
Schriver said as long as the team learns from the losses, it will be productive. He says the coaches have learned plenty, most notably which lineups play well, which lineups don’t and what defenses they can run out of each lineup.
Layton improved to 6-3 with the win and five of those have come in the last six games after losing to perennial state-championship contenders Lone Peak and Olympus back-to-back.
But it’s the Lancers who’ve been looked at by some as a darkhorse and even a contender to be the last team standing in 6A in February.
Region 1 should provide plenty of tests until the state playoffs, and Brown says the team is confident heading into Friday’s region opener at home against an 9-1 Davis squad.
“I feel really good about it, I’m excited to get going and play those close teams. We have some good rivalries going,” he said.
Davis 55, Copper Hills 53 (OT)
Davis erased a 31-21 halftime deficit to improve to 9-1 with a close win over Copper Hills. Josh Sanders led the Darts with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Rich Stucki scored 12 points with five rebounds, Trey Grossenbach added 11 points and Tyson Garff had five assists, three steals and four blocks.
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