KAYSVILLE -- When senior co-captain Matt Morrell picked up his second personal foul with 6:24 left in the first quarter, he had all three Davis points and both team fouls.
Traditional protocol and the Davis assistant coaches would dictate that Morrell ride the bench for the rest of the period if not the half, but Dart head coach Jay Welk had other ideas.
"Matt is very important to what we do as a team. We needed to adjust what we did with him the rest of the half, but we were able to keep him on the floor and not have him pick up his third (foul)," Welk said. "I wouldn't do that with everybody, but I could with Matt. He is a smart kid and knows what to do in that situation."
The result was a 64-58 Region 1-clinching victory over Viewmont on Friday evening in a sweetheart of a game on Valentine's Day.
Often a game this big (Viewmont needed the game to keep its region championship hopes alive), don't live up to the hype (witness the Super Bowl), but the Darts (18-1 overall, 10-0 league) held off a valiant Viking effort to capture their 10th region championship during Welk's 24-year tenure at Davis.
Davis led by nine points early and nine late, but in between the game flowed in the three- to six-point range where every possession mattered. However Viewmont held the lead for only 14 fleeting seconds early in the third quarter.
"They are a good team; well coached and execute well," Welk said. "There were two teams with the region title on the line and neither team disappointed."
In a tight first half, Davis held Viewmont to 33 percent shooting from the floor, but was outrebounded 19-8 (none on the offensive glass), which led to nine more Viking shots and seven second-chance points.
Viewmont took its only lead on a 3-pointer by Aaron Dalton with 6:29 left in the third period, but that was quickly erased on a three by Jesse Wade and Davis, although pushed, never lost the lead again.
"Our kids made the plays when they needed to; the players took control and executed our base offense and base defense, with no gimicks; they just took it over," Welk said.
Elijah Kletzli led the Darts with 23 points, and Morrell, who finished the game with three fouls, chipped in 16. In an oddity, neither player had a rebound on the night. Wade also notched double digits with 14 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.
McKay Johnson paced the Vikings (13-6, 7-2) with a double-double on 16 points and 11 rebounds, while McKay Butler added 12 points and Kelton Hirsch netted 11.