Davis boys basketball wraps up Region 1 title

Feb 22 2014 - 12:00am


Davis coach Jay Welk has a friendly conversation with a referee in the first half on Friday evening. (Photo by Bob Judson)
Davis coach Jay Welk has a friendly conversation with a referee in the first half on Friday evening. (Photo by Bob Judson)

KAYSVILLE -- Now it's official.

Davis High technically clinched a share of the Region 1 basketball championship last week with its victory over Viewmont, holding a two-game edge with two to play and the tie-breaker.

But by their closer than the final score indicated 76-68 sweep of the season series over Syracuse on Friday evening, the Darts aren't sharing the crown with anyone.

"You do not want to share that thing," said Principal Dee Burton when he presented the title trophy in a crowded Darts locker room after the game to a standing, yet somewhat reserved ovation, as the Darts want more to come.

"Do you know why we don't cut the nets down (after winning the championship)?" said Davis coach Jay Welk. "That's because it's not our ultimate goal; we still have some work to do."

"Five more wins," chimed in senior co-captain point guard Abel Porter.

"Last week we talked about winning it, now it's official, we won it outright," Welk said. We added one more brick to a great tradition at Davis High."

The statistics are staggering, as Davis rolled to its 19th straight win after a season-opening loss at Alta and its 11th consecutive league victory, looking for an undefeated campaign against Layton next Wednesday.

"We set goals coming in and want a state championship, but that's not how it starts out," said Davis assistant coach Ben Horne. "What we want first is a good preseason, then we set a goal to win the region championship. We stress defense and talk about the things we need to do on a game-by-game basis and winning will take care of itself."

"If we win, we'll achieve our goals; we don't know how, but continuing to win will lead to it. Now we set our sights on tournament play-it's a game of cuthroat; one loss and you go home," Horne added. "But the staple of our team is to improve on defense every game."

Defense, a pair of stellar guards and a strong bench.

In a four-minute span in the first half, starters Matt Morrell and Eliza Kletzli went to bench in foul trouble, junior guard Jesse Wade re-sprained his right ankle and Jaydon Ryan did a belly-flop on the hardwood and had to come out.

Jarom Barnes (six points) and Spencer Duke came off the bench and Davis' lead went from one point to 12 at the half, due also in part that Wade scored 23 and Porter chipped in 16, to give them 37 of the Darts first half points.

Wade finished with a career-high 28 points and also six assists on the night, Porter added 23 and seven dimes and both guards each pulled down six rebounds. Kletzli rallied in the fourth quarter with 11 of his 12 points and had a team-high seven boards.

Syracuse, (9-12 overall, 6-5 league) was led by 18 points and five rebounds from Braden Hall and Michael Phelps scored 13 points in a starting role, after being a key reserve most of the year.

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