LAYTON — A year ago on their home court, the Layton Lancers overcame a 15-point second half deficit to Northridge only to see Alec Duffin bury a game-winning three-pointer with a second remaining to give the Knights the win.
This time around, Duffin again got his points, but Layton (5-6, 2-0 Region 1) left nothing to chance as it outscored the Knights 27-9 in the final period to pick up its second victory of the Region 1 campaign, 82-66.
“The guys maintained composure throughout the game which was big for us,” Layton coach Kelby Miller said. “We have a lot of guys coming into this year with zero varsity experience, besides Collin (Jeppson). To see them take that next step tonight, being patient and going to what we had advantages with was big and it was nice to see.”
With 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Ethan Potter and the 6-foot-10 Jeppson in the post, the Lancers had a significant size advantage over the Knight frontline, anchored by the 6-foot-4 Duffin, but a run-and-gun first half played to Northridge’s (6-8, 1-2) strength.
The Knights repeatedly pushed the ball ahead of the Layton defense for three-pointers and layups en route to a 45-41 halftime advantage.
The Lancers narrowed the gap in the third, pulling within 57-55 before exploding in the fourth as the Knights went ice cold.
“Our goal at the first of the game was to get the ball inside-out and we did that in the second half, most importantly,” Layton’s Tanner Kofoed, who finished with a game-high 27 points, said. “Coach Miller just said keep working hard and then the fans were a big help; it was loud.”
After shooting 7-for-16 from beyond the arc in the first half, the Knights went 2 of 17 from deep over the final 16 minutes, shooting 8-for-35 overall in the second half.
The Lancers got easy buckets at the hoop and splashed in their free throws to account for the fourth quarter run. Overall, they shot 25-of-29 from the stripe with Kofoed going a perfect 12-for-12.
Potter scored 25 points in the win, while Jeppson added 16 with several blocks.
“We definitely have two of the best bigs in the region and they’re right up there with anybody in the state,” Miller said. “The more that we can play inside-out, the more that we can play off of those guys, the better off we’re going to be.
“I thought we did a great job of limiting second chances. Collin, Ethan, Ryan Lowder and Tanner, I remember all of those guys coming up with some pretty big rebounds down at the defensive end. I feel that our hustle and rebounding in the fourth quarter was the difference.”
Duffin led Northridge with 18 points, while teammates Mason Macrum and Nathan Christensen chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively.