Orem • Layton held a significant height advantage when it lined up against Cyprus in a Class 6A boys’ basketball state tournament opening-round contest Tuesday.
And the Lancers may have had a bit of a mental edge, too.
The other members of Region 1 already had won games to advance to the state quarterfinals.
Then Layton did its part by running away in the second half from the pesky Pirates and winning 69-51 at Utah Valley University.
“I knew they [Davis, Fremont and Weber] were 3-0, so it was like we’ve got to represent the region,” said Layton’s Chase Potter, who had 15 points, often via forays into the lane. “We had to keep it going.”
Lancers coach Kelby Miller had something else on his mind though. That was that the favorites already had lost earlier games both at UVU and in Weber State University.
“These things don’t happen all the time,” Miller said about moving into the next round. “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, it’s old hat and it’s guaranteed.‘
“But we’ve all been around those teams that don’t advance. There’s a couple of No. 1 seeds [Kearns and Riverton] who went home tonight.”
Layton (15-7) led from start to finish, but it was only a 26-23 advantage after a 3-pointer from the Pirates’ Skyler Case with 2:51 left in the second quarter.
Cyprus (14-10), which finished third in Region 2, got a dozen points from Josh Amasio and 10 more from Case.
The Lancers, paced by Truman Brown’s 24 points, responded to Case’s trey with eight straight points, a run that included two buckets from Potter, two free throws by Skyler Turner and a putback shot by Caleb Cluff to make the score 34-23 just before half.
It wasn’t entirely clear sailing for the Lancers just yet though as Cyprus was still within six points early in the third.
A 9-0 run at the end of the third and entering the fourth was the extra cushion Layton needed.
“I could compare Northridge to them. They aren’t necessarily a super-tall team, but they could get anyone if they’re on and hitting their shots,” Brown said.
Westlake is the Lancers’ next opponent. They’ll meet Thursday at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Center.
Layton won a first-round game as well against Lehi last year, and Miller’s squad went to the state semifinals before losing to Bingham two years ago.
“This is a veteran group. They’ve been around, so it’s just that old adage of not getting too high, not getting too low,” Miller said. “They’re going to enjoy the bus ride home, but after that it’s all business again.”
LAYTON 69, CYPRUS 51
• Layton uses an 8-0 run at the end of the second quarter and a 9-0 stretch between the third and fourth quarters to cruise to the win.
• Truman Brown leads Layton with 24 points, while teammate Chase Potter adds 15.
• Josh Amasio leads Cyprus with 12 points, while Skyler Case chips in 10.