There are going to be games where the Davis Darts make some noise and magic. Well Friday night, the Davis Darts created some serious last-minute magic and noise to stun the Layton Lancers and the boisterous crowd.
After watching Layton defeat West, the Darts knew this was not going to be easy. The playoffs are win or go home, and Davis was going to make sure they did not go home.
“The hardest thing about the playoffs is winning that first game,” Chance Trujillo said when inquired about the playoffs. “We knew even before the game that we would have to play hard offensively and play lockdown defense.”
The Darts went on to beat the Lancers, 41-39, but it was clear early on that they were going to have to dig deep down to win this one. At the end of the first quarter, they were down by 9 and only had 2 points.
“We knew that we had to come out strong after the 1st Quarter and not back down,” senior Ben Haggard said. “That mindset is one we would adopt for the rest of the game and would lead to victory.”
Davis stayed mentally tough and staunch in their effort to play lockdown defense. They were able to limit arguably the most dominant player in the 6A region, Ethan Potter, to just 13 points. Davis also shut down Layton on the boards by limiting them to 20 rebounds.
The Darts also limited Layton’s shots by taking the ball out of Potter’s hands and making others shoot the rock. This strategy worked effectively as the second-leading scorer for the Lancers, Preston Squire, only had 10 points. By limiting shots and taking the ball out of Ethan Potter’s hands, Davis was able to fight back.
“Coach Sims promised us if we played lockdown defense and limited their shots that things would work out,” stated Spencer Ferguson after the game.
The Davis Darts only held a lead for 43 seconds the entire night, but Rex Sunderland’s buzzer-beater is what propelled Davis into the state quarterfinals. The Darts used a team effort to secure the win and maintained their mental toughness all night.
“It was a great way to end our last matchup with our rivals and send ourselves into the quarterfinals,” exclaimed Ben Haggard when asked about the emotions he experienced after the game.
Davis learned some valuable lessons from this game. They will take the lessons learned with them into the Corner Canyon game as they work towards securing a 6A State Championship trophy.