We played so awesome in the first part of the year. This was the team from the beginning of the season. We talked about championship behavior and what that means, and they really came out tonight. —Davis head coach Anne Jones
KAYSVILLE — The Davis High girls basketball team kept its playoff hopes alive on Tuesday, earning a crucial victory over the Fremont Silver Wolves, 53-42.
The Darts' win gave the two teams the same Region 1 record of 3-7, and they'll rematch in a play-in game on Thursday at Davis High.
The winner of Thursday's contest will earn a trip to Salt Lake Community College for the 5A state tournament next week.
The Darts came out with unmatched tenacity on Tuesday, wreaking havoc with a full-court press and earning several fast-break scoring opportunities. They finished the first quarter with a commanding lead, 17-3.
Fremont head coach Lisa Dalebout attributed the early Dart run to a lack of urgency from the Silver Wolves.
"Davis came in and basically took it to us. They played the way we should have played," she said. "We had nothing to lose. They played with that type of mentality."
The Darts carried their momentum into the second, forcing several more turnovers as they hounded the guards in the backcourt. The relentless pressure resulted in 18 first-half turnovers for the Wolves and gave the Darts a halftime lead of 32-14.
Davis head coach Anne Jones was excited about her team's first half performance – a performance that mirrored the success experienced by the Darts in the preseason.
"We played so awesome in the first part of the year," she said. "This was the team from the beginning of the season. We talked about championship behavior and what that means, and they really came out tonight."
As the second half started, however, a Fremont rally seemed plausible. The Silver Wolves scored on three straight possessions and caused two Davis turnovers in the opening minutes of the half. Speedy guards Mikkell
Minnoch and Keely Swander controlled the offense and broke things open for the Wolves.
"In the third, we really did a good job and played our basketball," Fremont coach Dalebout said. "We did a good job of breaking and getting opportunities at the basket."
Despite the slight Fremont surge, the Darts retained the lead and finished out the third quarter with a 12-point advantage, 41-29.
The Silver Wolves put on the pressure again in the fourth quarter, chipping at the lead and laying it off the glass. Davis matched their intensity, however, staving off the late rally.
With 2:51 remaining, the Wolves cut the deficit to ten points, 49-39, as Codilynn Meibos finished off a beautiful assist from Swander at the point. The Wolves would get no closer as the Darts met their scoring to finish out the contest, 53-42.
"We just wanted it more," senior Courtney Hurst said of the Davis victory. "We came out a lot harder knowing that we had to win this game if we wanted to get to state. We played with heart."
Hurst was a dominant force both in the paint and from long range. The senior led the Darts with two 3-pointers and 14 points. Two other Darts were in double figures with Heidi Richardson contributing 11 and Krysta Eskelson with 10.
T he two teams will meet again on Thursday with t he Darts won the coin flip for home court advantage for Thursday's game.