OGDEN — Tyson Garff had 19 points to his name after halftime and 27 total, so with Davis trailing 61-60 at the end of overtime, the ball had to get in his hands.
But when Garff was cut off far from the basket by a Westlake defender, the next option was Jake Sampson — a 50-percent 3-point shooter this season.
Garff tossed to Sampson, who has taken more than three times the number of 3-pointers as 2s this season. Sampson put the ball on the deck with his left hand, drove through the paint and leaned in, dropping through a floater with 10 seconds left to give two-seed Davis a 62-61 victory in the first round of the 6A boys basketball state tournament Monday afternoon at the Dee Events Center.
“Jake’s obviously a good shooter but he’s worked on his game and he knows he’s got to get to the rim. He’s good at it, he’s really worked hard at it,” Davis coach Chad Sims said. “Credit to him for making a play when we needed it.”
Sampson didn’t hit a 3-pointer Monday after making 86 through the previous 23 games.
“He was overplaying my 3, so I jab-stepped ... I wanted to try and draw the foul and I didn’t get it, but it went in,” Sampson said. “It felt really good.”
After Sampson’s big bucket, Westlake got a run at the rim that was blocked out of bounds by two Davis players with 2.3 seconds left. Three timeouts later, the final play commenced.
Cooper Mattson took the inbound pass as he stepped into the corner, tossing up an open corner 3. The ball anticlimactically wedged between the glass and the rim as time expired and the Darts escaped with a hard-fought win.
The game was tied eight times, seven of them in the second half. Sampson’s winner marked the 16th time the lead changed hands.
“We knew it was going to be a fun game. Westlake is dang good,” Sims said. “We knew it was going to come down to the wire ... I’m proud of our guys, they really competed on both ends of the floor. Our guys really battled, all of them.”
Davis (17-7) opened strong and appeared to take control, stifling the Thunder (16-7) to a 14-4 lead after one quarter.
But Westlake answered with a 22-9 advantage in the second frame to take a 26-23 lead into the half.
Tredyn Christensen nearly made the Thunder’s advantage turn into a runaway. The Westlake guard finished with 24 points and was 10 of 14 from the field, gashing the Darts several times on the way to the rim to open the second half.
But Davis survived with a few key buckets and many more makes at the free-throw line, ultimately shooting 16 of 20 from the charity stripe after halftime following a 1-of-1 mark in the first half.
Garff pulled up from 15 feet for a smooth jumper just before the end of the third quarter, capping a Davis 7-1 run and giving the Darts a 42-41 lead, their first advantage of the half.
Davis gave up a late lead when allowing Drake Allen and then Christensen consecutive buckets at the rim. Garff hit a pair of freebies to tie it up, Jordan McGregor missed a floater in the paint for Westlake and the game went to extra time.
Davis held McGregor, Westlake’s leading scorer this season, to eight points on 1-of-4 shooting.
Brendon Redford totaled 16 points and six rebounds for the Darts. Sampson added eight points, K.O. Fisher grabbed eight rebounds and Trevan Leonhardt had three steals.
Davis plays Region 2 champion Kearns at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals at Weber State.