Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News
Davis' Mitch Florence, left, and Nick Gruninger scramble for ball in front of Alta's Jefferson Court as Davis beats Alta on Wednesday.

OGDEN — It doesn't matter to Jay Welk if the other team wears maroon or blue on Friday afternoon, as long as the guys in brown and gold continue to play like they have for 22 games.

Welk, Davis High's boys head basketball coach, isn't worried about which team the undefeated Darts will face in the 5A semifinals because the Darts' game plan will be the same as it has been all season.

"We're focusing on what we do best," Welk said after the Darts earned an impressive 70-56 quarterfinal win against an athletic Alta squad Wednesday night at the Dee Events Center. "When we do that, we think it comes out favorable most of the time."

It certainly did against a defensive-minded Alta squad, especially the second half. These two teams played in December with a very similar outcome — a close first half, and then the Darts ran away with the second half.

"Of the eight quarters we've played up here, about five of them have been somewhat tight," Welk said. "We came out in the second half and made a slight adjustment to their match-up zone. ... And we have five guys that contribute the whole game."

Three Davis players were in double digits in the contest, in which the Darts outscored Alta 25-10 in the third quarter. Jackson Stevenett finished with 17 points and six rebounds, while Connor Van Brocklin added 14 points and four rebounds. Senior guard Chase Flint led the team with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Van Brocklin said the difference was that the Darts looked to each other in the second half.

"The third quarter we came out and played like a team," he said. "We executed on offense. ... They slowed it down a lot, and we tried not to play at their pace."

Flint said the team has won 22 straight games because they don't worry about anything but the play they're involved in at that moment.

"We focus on one point, one play at a time," he said. "We focus on playing good defense and most of all rebounding the basketball."

Alta was led by forward Taylor Brown, who finished with 31 points and six rebounds, and junior Ammon Olsen, who added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Alta coach Jim Barker credited Welk's defensive adjustments with giving the Darts the advantage.

"They made an adjustment to our zone and we struggled matching up with them," Barker said. "We talked about it, but they did a good job creating mismatches."

Despite ending their tourney run with a loss, Barker called the Hawks' season a success.

"I can't ask for more from our kids," he said. "I'm proud of our kids and what they accomplished. I still say we played the toughest schedule of anyone in the state. The teams we lost to were all quality teams."

Interestingly, Alta held Lone Peak to 53 points when they played earlier this season. So what does it say about Davis that they could score 70 points against the Hawks?

Welk and his players aren't concerned with any speculation. They know they can compete with the top-ranked Knights — and that's what they'll do Friday afternoon.

"Everybody knows Lone Peak is not a good matchup for a lot of people," said Welk. "But we have five guys who can score. And that's a problem for people, too."

Summary

Top performer: Chase Flint led the Darts with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Key stat: The Darts shot 66.7 percent in the second half, while the Hawks shot 39 percent, and Davis had 15 assists to Alta's six.

Up next: Semifinals, Davis vs. Lone Peak, Friday, 2:30 p.m.


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