Layton might be the best boys’ basketball program fans don’t hear much about.

Consider where the Lancers have been the last four years after they earned a difficult come-from-behind 68-65 victory over Westlake on Thursday in the Class 6A state tournament at the Huntsman Center.

Layton won the title four years ago then made it to the state semifinals and the state quarterfinals the past two years.

Now the Lancers are back in the semifinals with this win over the upstart Thunder and perhaps finally earning a measure of respect.

Give Layton credit for not succumbing to a hard-fighting, surprising and confident Westlake team that needed a comeback win over American Fork last Friday just to get into the tournament then recorded an upset win over Region 3 champion Riverton on Tuesday at UVU.

“We knew that was going to be the case,” said Layton coach Kelby Miller, who has led the basketball revival at the Davis County school. “They are a team that gets after it. Obviously being where they came from by winning the play-in game and then beating Riverton, we knew they would be flying around and really confident coming into this. We knew we would have a game.”

The victory was a combination of two things. Layton was a bit stronger inside than Westlake and was able to force 17 turnovers.

“Our guys Conner [Hill] and Truman [Brown] don’t get enough credit, but they do a great job on ball pressure,” Miller said.

Layton also had good balance. Six-foot-8 Collin Jeppson did his damage inside, scoring 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Guard Brown finished with 18, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. And Chase Potter and Skyler Turner both scored 10.

Not to say this was an easy win. It was anything but.

Westlake led 50-46 after three quarters and 59-58 midway through the fourth quarter. Cooper Madison, who finished with 20 points, and Jared McGregor, who had 15, played well throughout the contest.

“They are really aggressive,” Jeppson said. “All the credit in the world to them. They go out and work hard. … They came out and played amazing. They shot the ball well.”

But not quite well enough. Hill had all five of his points in the final two minutes of the game as Layton went on a little run and Westlake finally ran out of miracles.

But not by far.


• Collin Jeppson leads four Layton scorers in double figures as the Lancers make the state semifinals for the third time in four years.

• Westlake, which needed a play-in game and an upset win over Region 3 champion Riverton just to get into the tournament, stays in the game until the bitter end.

• Layton guards Connor Hill and Truman Brown help force 17 Westlake turnovers in what proves to be the difference in the game.