KAYSVILLE Davis coach Jay Welk has instilled in his players all season that every game is of equal importance, whether it's a region game against newcomer Syracuse or a potential playoff showdown with Lone Peak.
With that being said, Tuesday's game just seemed more significant, and not simply because arch-rival Viewmont was in town or that Davis perhaps felt slighted by being bumped from the top spot in the Deseret Morning News rankings. By beating Viewmont 65-50, the Darts clinched the Region 1 title and in the process maintained its perfect 18-0 record.
"It's very nice to win the region championship, we try not to take that for granted, we appreciate winning," said Davis coach Jay Welk. "But I don't think any of us are satisfied."
The victory came with coaches from some of the top 5A programs in the state on hand to watch, and they no doubt were impressed with Davis' Jackson Stevenett, who continued his dominating season with 24 points and six rebounds on 10-of-12 shooting.
Stevenett scored 28 points in Davis' 71-62 win over Viewmont four weeks ago, a game the Darts were always in control of jumping out to a 14-point first quarter lead. On Tuesday, the Vikings came to play from the opening whistle.
The teams traded baskets throughout the first quarter, as a determined Viewmont team pounded the ball inside to Tommy Barrett, who scored eight of his team-high 21 points in the opening quarter.
Unfortunately for Viewmont, despite playing so well early Davis took control with a decisive three-minute spurt in the second quarter opening up a 29-16 lead with an 11-0 run.
Four different Davis players scored during the stretch, balance that has made the Darts unbeatable all season
"There's five guys that can hurt you out there. From a coaching standpoint, if you've got guys that are able to score then you've got to guard them, and it really creates some problems, and that's been the real strength of this team," said Welk.
For Viewmont, outside of Davis Emery and Barrett it lacks the same type of offensive balance, so when those two shot a combined 2-of-8 from the field in the second quarter the Vikings were in trouble and as a result trailed by 10 at the break.
While Barrett and Emery scored 40 of their team's 50 points, Stevenett was one of three different players in double figures for Davis, in addition to two others with eight.
"I think we're very unselfish. It's a new guy every game coming out and scoring," said the Darts' Conner Van Brocklin, who added 11 points. "Offensively we have good chemistry."To Viewmont's credit, despite the packed gym and Davis' rowdy student section it managed to remain within striking distance throughout a good chunk of the second half. In fact, a pair of Barrett free throws cut Davis' lead to 38-33 with 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Darts responded with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes and scored on every possession but one in the fourth quarter to seal the win.