KAYSVILLE — By the time word reached Davis High School’s gym that Layton had lost to Fremont, the Darts boys basketball team had their game against Northridge well in hand and were not about to let the Region 1 championship slip through their fingers.
The Darts, who were tied for the league lead with Layton coming in, were matched up with Northridge — near the bottom — on Thursday evening in the regular-season finale.
Like the classic Bachman-Turner Overdrive ballad, the Darts took care of business, knocking off Northridge 61-37 in every way: offense and defense, shooting and rebounding.
With the win, Davis (18-4, 13-1 Region 1) takes the league title — a big deal, albeit not relevant for seeding in the upcoming 6A state tournament which is now dictated by RPI.
“We wanted to win region first, but now we have a bigger goal in mind,” Davis junior guard Colby Sims said. “This is great and all but we have to put it behind us after we celebrate tonight and then go get state.”
The Darts held Northridge (5-18, 2-12) to 29.2% from the field, necessary because while they won, they only managed 19 of 48 from the floor (39.6%). Davis outrebounded the Knights 38-28 to capture the battle on the glass.
“We knew it was going to be a dogfight from the start, these guys play scrappy, so we had to lock up on defense,” Sims said. “We were struggling on offense and at halftime all we said is shots are going to fall; but our defense was sound the whole game.”
That was the case, because after a relatively tight third quarter and a 36-27 lead, the Darts pulled away in the fourth frame, posting a 25-10 edge.
Northridge trailed 14-10 after one quarter, but Davis went cold and the Knights took a 15-14 lead late into the second stanza before Sims went wild.
He hit a 3 from the corner with 2:30 left in the half, added a pair of free throws a minute later and made yet another 3 that just beat the buzzer, scoring all his points for the game in that short span.
“We work on that all year. Rex (Sunderland) is great at driving the middle and I’m always set to shoot it, so I’ve done it a million times before,” Sims said. “I have confidence. I’m in the gym every day. We weren’t scoring, so I’m like somebody has to put it in the hoop. I knew it would go in.”
Sunderland paced the Darts with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Chance Trujillo added 11 points and seven boards. Henry Ihrig scored nine straight points over the third and fourth quarters and finished with 11 points on the night, and Austin Frasure came off the bench to net double digits with 10.
Even with the frigid shooting, Northridge hung around in the first half but then ran out of gas late in the game.
“We tried to take away the dribble penetration and make them hit outside shots,” Northridge coach Andrew Olson said. “They were a little off in the first half; when they shoot 3s the best is coming off a drive and kick. We did a good job in the first half but it got away from us. Then their defense gave us fits.”
Kade Sparrow led the Knights with 12 points and hauled down seven rebounds.