Layton • If the Alta girls basketball team used a playoff loss to Layton as fuel for a regular-season game against the Lancers on Friday night, it only lasted for so long.
After falling behind early, Layton ended up cruising to a 66-46 victory over the Hawks as size advantage and increasingly tough defense proved to be the difference over the long haul.
At last year's state tournament, Layton also beat Alta in a Class 5A quarterfinal.
"Alta's a good team. We had them last year in the state tournament, they had us down and we came back to win," Layton coach Van Price said. "I thought they'd be really high, wanting to come out to get us. We had some kids who came out a little flight; just needed to relax a little bit."
Alta (2-3) jumped out to an 11-3 midway through the opening period on Mariah Martin's top-of-the-key trey. Later in the period, the margin was still at nine points when Hawks senior Madyson Quigley popped in a baseline 3.
But the Lancers' Maddi Smith connected on a field goal with only a second left in the first quarter. Then Layton (4-1) got five straight points from 6-foot, 2-inch sophomore Hailey Bassett to start the second to make the score 20-18.
"They're a great team and we expected that. We just had to come together with our defense," said Smith, who scored 14 points to co-lead the Lancers with Bassett. "We just tried to have each other's backs so we could cover the outside shot."
Taylor Moore scored 13 points from her guard position for Layton, and 6-2 senior post Jaden Anderson added 12. Martin led Alta with 22 points.
Layton took the lead by scoring five points in the last 1:17 of the first half. After giving up the opening basket of the second half, making the score 34-32, the Lancers then registered the next seven points and started to take control.
"Once we settled down, I thought we played our game. We had size and Jaden did a great job inside," Price said. "We've got a lot of young kids, and they're starting to get their feet under them. I think, by the time we get into region play, we'll be that much deeper and stronger."
Layton 66, Alta 46
O After trailing 11-3 in the first quarter, the Lancers go on a 31-19 run to close out the half.
• Maddi Smith and Hailey Bassett lead Layton with 14 points each