KAYSVILLE — After a month-and-a-half of playing games that are vital to your season but that don’t necessarily matter on paper, Friday offered a reprieve in the category of the latter.

The game mattered for something. And it’s not quite a stretch to say that Davis and Fremont’s Region 1 boys basketball opener might have mattered for more than the “1s” that now adorn their region records.

The matchup pitted the defending Region 1 champion, Fremont — and therefore the prohibitive favorite to win this year’s title — against the team, Davis, who’s looked most likely to challenge Fremont for that title this year.

It also pitted Dallin Hall and Tyson Garff against each other, two of the best individual players in the region. In effect, Friday was going to offer a glimpse of Davis’ title credentials after a tough non-region schedule and whether Fremont had enough to defend its trophy.

For now, score one for the champs, who raced ahead both early and late to outshoot Davis (6-6, 0-1 Region 1) in a 69-55 win.

“This is a big win for us, we decided we want to run region and so this is a good way to start. They have some great players ... for us to come out and make a statement like that, it’s good for us to prove to everyone that we’re here to play,” Hall said.

Hall was key to the win throughout the night. He led all scorers with 29 points on 8-of-15 shooting to go with six rebounds and four assists in the full 32 minutes.

Hall hit just about any kind of shot one could randomly pick out of a hat. He got a tough runner to go in against two defenders, he made a 3-pointer while fouled in the first quarter and a stepback 3 against Davis’ best defender, Trevan Leonhardt.

The Darts were already making Hall and Fremont (7-4, 1-0) take a bunch of contested 3s, but Hall kept making them. The Silver Wolves shot 50 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from the 3-point line.

“We just expect Dallin to play perfect all the time because we’ve seen it. He’s so unselfish, he really could score a lot more than he does,” head coach Corey Melaney said.

The key moment in the entire game, though, was maybe the one time Hall’s fingerprints weren’t all over. It was Mitch Stratford, playing in foul trouble most of the night, making back-to-back 3-pointers late in the third quarter.

“Our offense was kind of faltering and then he hits those two big 3s which kind of opens it up for everyone, so that’s huge on his part,” Hall said.

Davis had turned a 22-9 deficit into 25-23 in the first half, and, amid several outbursts from the bench directed toward the referees for various foul calls or non-calls, was in the process of stalling Fremont’s offense again.

Then this sequence happened: a Davis intentional foul, two Hall free throws, a Davis offensive foul, a Mitch Stratford 3-pointer, a missed Davis shot, another Stratford 3, a Jake Sampson free throw and a Baylor Harrop 3 to end the quarter.

What was a 43-37 lead was now 54-38 with a very animated Melaney on the sideline. Harrop quietly had a 13-point, 10-rebound night with five offensive rebounds.

Garff scored 23 on 8-of-15 shooting to lead the Darts. Jake Sampson — who exploded for 31 points on nine 3s in Davis’ season-opener against Bountiful — had 15 points Friday as Fremont limited him to six field-goal attempts.

Davis coaches spent 25 minutes talking to their players in the locker room after the game, so there’s obvious concern about how the game transpired that coaches felt it warranted a long discussion. Here’s one way to look at it: there’s 11 games left in region play and the usual “it’s a sprint, not a marathon” standard applies.

You can reach prep sports reporter Patrick Carr via email at pcarr@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter @patrickcarr_ and on Facebook at facebook.com/patrickcarr17/.

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