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Boys basketball: Layton races out to big, early lead in win at Bonneville

By Bob Judson - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Dec 7, 2022

WASHINGTON TERRACE — When a team goes on the road, a fast start can settle some nerves and take the home-town crowd out of the game.

Layton High boys basketball followed that plan to perfection on Wednesday night, jumping all over Bonneville in the first half, then withstood a rocky fourth quarter to rack up an impressive 80-68 non-region victory.

“When we come out on the road, we always want to make an impact, make a statement early,” Layton guard Mekhi Martin said. “We shot the ball well; we moved the ball well and played good defense. We jumped out to that 19-point lead at halftime.”

Layton led by 10 points after the first quarter (22-12), then expanded that margin to 38-19 at the break.

The Lancers (4-1) spread the scoring around, with Martin totaling 10 points in the half, while KJ Miller also had 10 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.

Nate Burdett had 10 of Bonneville’s 12 points in the first quarter, but found himself in coach Kyle Bullinger’s dog house, when Miller drained a pair of 3’s over Burdett.

Bonneville (0-4) had a much better second half, narrowly losing the third quarter (20-18) to trail 58-37 after three, then put up 31 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome Layton’s torrid opening salvo.

“We knew they were going to come back, to try and take a lead at home,” Martin said. “But we know how to hold a lead; they came back a little bit, but we won by 12. Just keep playing defense and still hit some shots.”

Layton’s lead shrunk to 10 and 11 points several times in the fourth quarter, but the Lancers hit several big free throws, including ten straight during the last three minutes of the game.

Martin made the first of six in a row, before Bonneville finally tried fouling a different Lancer, then Martin made two more, making it 79-68 with 18.3 seconds left.

“I practice those every day after practice; I’m ready for that,” Martin said. “If they foul me, they foul me. They were clutch free throws, but I want them all to go in. No pressure, just practice.”

He finished with 22 points, while Miller and center Brook Mendoza both had 17 points.

For Bonneville, Bo Dixon scored a game-high 24 points, including six 3-pointers — three of those coming in the fourth quarter comeback attempt. Burdett got back on the floor after a brief visit with Bullinger and scored 21 points.

Although Layton won comfortably, Martin still saw room for improvement.

“It’s early in the season. We still have work to do, communication-wise, team-wise,” he said. “They hit some really tough shots. They got hot. We’ll get better as the season goes on. But we stayed composed; we’re ready for anything.”

WEDNESDAY RESULTS

ROY 58, BEAR RIVER 44

ROY — Elijah Sowards’ 25 points lifted Roy to its first win of the season.

Sowards shot 12 of 19 from the floor for Roy (1-2), and also pulled in eight rebounds with three blocks. Beau Belnap added eight points.

Kyver Jensen led Bear River (4-1) with 13 points.

BOX ELDER 66, GREEN CANYON 39

BRIGHAM CITY — Box Elder outscored Green Canyon 21-5 in the third quarter. Four players hit double-digit scoring for Box Elder (2-2), led by Elijah Kersey’s 17 points.

Gabe Sever and Jackson McKee scored 13 points, while Cooper Stevenson added 11. Sever and Stevenson each made three 3-pointers.

Patrick Carr contributed to this report.

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