TAYLORSVILLE — Davis and Lone Peak were two of the mystery teams in the first round of the Class 6A girls basketball tournament Monday.
Neither played in the big dance last year. So no one had a good idea on how the teams would react.
The Salt Lake Community College venue did not prove intimidating in the slightest to Lone Peak, which advanced to the quarterfinals with a 54-37 win over the Darts.
The Knights took control early with a stifling defense that held Davis to 11 first half points and a field goal shooting percentage of 23.8 percent for the half and 27.7 for the game.
“Defense is where it needs to start and that was a focus of ours, especially in league,” said Lone Peak coach Nancy Warner. “The second half of the region set the tone.”
She said that after forcing a shot, the defense allowed the Knights to be in good position for a rebound, a place where they also dominated.
Warner praised her team’s balance and the way it shared the ball.
Maddy Eaton and Jane LeRoy each had 12 points.
The Darts, a surprise second-place Region 1 finisher after not making the tournament a year ago, start only one senior. Their youth seemed like a factor early.
Davis never led and just couldn’t get shots to fall in the first half. They scored only one point in just over five minutes of the first half.
“We are a better team than we played like tonight,” said Davis coach Anne Jones. “We are young. Nobody on this team has even been to state. For sure, those first few minutes, we were a little unsure of ourselves.
“We talked about being not nervous and enjoying the experience and taking deep breaths. But we got a bit rattled. We had shots and layups, but the ball didn’t fall.”
No Dart hit double-figure scoring, but Hannah Loveland led the way with nine points and Kelsey Leavitt added seven rebounds.
To its credit, Davis never quit. The Darts were only outscored by three points in the second half, but never seriously threatened Lone Peak.