OGDEN — Nearly everyone expects Lone Peak to have a clear path to the boys state 5-A basketball title this year.
And no one outside of Kaysville expected the Darts to be more than a small bump in the road on Wednesday afternoon.
Turns out both expectations were right.
Davis took on the top-ranked Knights and played hard but hit a few potholes along the way and broke down in the second half to end its season with an 84-50 quarterfinal loss at the Dee Events Center.
The Darts trailed by 16-4 at the 5:11 mark of the initial period, were down by 20 at the half and made a brief run in the third quarter before the wheels came off.
“Even though we were behind at the half, it didn’t feel like 20,” said Davis coach Jay Welk. “We talked about not trying to get it back too quick. We wanted to keep working away and try to make them play in a tight game situation.”
However, the Darts were only able to close to gap to 18 points late in the third quarter, before a single digit fourth stanza sealed the deal.
If the Darts had a chance it was with their size on the front line, but Cole Hally and Alex Morrell were both saddled with foul trouble trying to defend Lone Peak’s bigs.
“Our post guys were defending (Eric) Mika and it was tough all night,” Welk said. “We didn’t want to play behind him as part of the game plan, then got in early foul trouble when we helped on penetration.”
Lone Peak outscored the Darts 29-8 on second chance points and scored 13 points off of turnovers and had 12 steals.
“That is an exceptionally good basketball team and to have a chance we had to play exceptionally well. We had to pick our poison and when we covered the middle, they hit from outside. Everyone is a threat,” Welk added.
Sophomore guard Jesse Wade led the Darts with 13 points and his running mate Abel Porter checked in with nine points and four assists. Morrell powered home eight points and hauled down eight rebounds when he came off the bench.
“I’m proud of the kids,”Welk said. “Hopefully they can take something away from this tonight. Challenges will come; it’s how you deal with them and the experience you gain.”
Talon Shumway paced the Knights with 25 points (including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc), while Mika scored 19 points inside and grabbed nine rebounds. T. J. Haws also notched double figures with 17 counters.
Alta 49, Weber 43
At the Dee Events Center, Weber won some battles, but lost the war.
The Warriors outscored Alta in each of the first three quarters, but picked a bad time to go cold, getting torched 17-5 over the final eight minutes.
With the 49-43 loss Wednesday evening, all four Region 1 teams and Viewmont from Region 2 are now out of the State s-A tournament being held at Weber State University.
Both teams shot a frosty 37 percent from the field that Warrior coach Mark Larsen credited to good defense, saying “traditionally defense wins in the tournament and defense wins on the big floor at the Dee Events Center.”
Weber led 38-32 after three quarters, but things started going south with six seconds left in the period.
Alta knocked down a three to end the third, then completed a 10-1 run and caught the Warriors at 39 with 5:44 left in the game.
“Our offense was a little sluggish, not fluid tonight,” Larsen said. “We usually do a better job attacking the basket. Alta had a lot to do with that.”
It was briefly tied at 41 on a pair of free throws by Jordan Jones but another Hawk three and five straight free throws closed out the Weber season.
“I told the kids to reflect on a lot of goals reached this season,” Larsen said. “A region championship; 20 wins. This team brought a sense of pride back to Weber High athletics. The support of the crowd, the community and the student body brought everyone together.”
Hayden Schensk led the Warriors with 20 points, while Jaren McKnight added eight.
“Give our (senior) kids all the credit in the world. They won 37 games in two years. I’m extremely proud of them. No one can take the region championship from them,” Larsen added.
Brighton 69, Viewmont 58
At the Dee Events Center, a distarous first quarter cost the Vikings.
Brandon Miller scored 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and Travis Devashrayee added 12 points and 10 rebounds as Brighton jumped out to a quick lead against Viewmont.
McKay Johnson scored 18 to lead the Vikes; Michael Steinke added 11.