KAYSVILLE -- Whether Friday night's matchup between Layton and league-leading Davis was worth the price of admission depends on your perspective.
If free-flowing, crisp shooting offensive basketball is your thing, then a refund is in order. However, if you like your games tough, scrappy and physical, then the Lancers and Darts didn't disappoint.
A standing room only crowd saw the Darts lead wire-to-wire -- but not before withstanding a late Layton rally -- to finish the first half of the Region 1 season with a perfect 6-0 record and its 14th straight win overall.
The first-half shooting was miserable for both squads and didn't get a whole lot better over the final 16 minutes. The Darts shot 21 percent before the break which was balmy compared to Layton's 15 percent effort on 3-for-20 shooting. Overall, the Darts survived despite failing to connect on a three-point the entire evening on 12 attempts. The respective point totals were season lows for both teams.
"I said in (the locker room following the game) I don't know in my 24 years if we've ever had a game where we didn't hit a 3," Davis coach Jay Welk said. "And it's not like we don't have good shooters. We were smart enough in the second half to not try to shoot as many. Give Layton credit. They did a great job defensively."
They may not have exactly raced out of the gates, but the Darts clamped down defensively from the opening tipoff holding the Lancers to only two points until Mike Hibbert connected on a pair of free throws to make it 16-4 with 5:05 left in the second quarter.
Behind eight points from Jesse Wade, Davis took a 19-10 lead into the halftime.
Consecutive buckets by Davis's Abel Porter put the Darts up 23-10 early in the third period, but then Hibbert led a Lancer rally to close the gap. A three-pointer by Dallin Watts brought Layton to within four at 29-25 in the final second of the quarter. The Lancers would equalize the deficit again but could never get any closer as they continued to be doomed by their 18 turnovers. For its part, Davis let the Lancers hang around by making only 16-of-29 free throws.
"We struggled in a lot of ways and I'll give (Layton) credit for that," Welk said. "Defensively, I thought we were pretty good tonight. We have to play through and make sure you're doing some other things if the ball's not going in the hole. You have to look for other ways to score, you have to defend and make sure they're not getting transition baskets. They took some things away from us and I thought we did a good job of taking some things away from them."
For the second straight outing, Layton's Jarriesse Blackmon was saddled by foul trouble and went scoreless in 18 minutes. He came in averaging 17.5 points and 11 rebounds per game, both team bests. Layton's only steady offensive option was the 6-foot-9 Hibbert who scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Julian Blackmon added 10 rebounds for the Lancers.
Davis was led offensively by Porter and Matt Morrell, with 15 and 14 points respectively. Wade ended with eight and Elijah Kletzli secured 10 rebounds.