According to OGDEN, the game plan was a fairly simple one for the Davis Darts: share the basketball. The athleticism of Kearns defensively can present matchup problems for anyone in the state, and not knowing exactly how Kearns would defend his team. The coach of Davis Chad Sims had a simple message for his players.
Sims said that they talked about before the game they wanted to share the ball. If they were open, they are going to take it no matter who it was. He added that he thought that his guys did a really good job sharing the ball.
That unselfishness combined with five hot hands has made a dominant performance at Weber State as the Darts rolled past Kearns 71-52 for the 6A quarterfinal win. Davis shot the ball at a 63 % clip, which includes making 10 of 17 3-pointers to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2015.
The defense of Kearns helped a lot off dribble penetration, and Davis never hesitated to swing the ball to the open man. He finishes with 16 assists led by Brendon Redford’s six.
Redford was one of four Davis players who gained in double figures, with Jake Sampson leading the way with 18 points on 5 of 9 shooting from behind the arc.
Sampson, who had the game-winning shot in a first-round win over Westlake, said that every one of their players is a good scorer, so when they feel like they have a mismatch on a certain guy they will pick on it. Davis set the tone on both the ends of the floor in the first quarter. This prevented Kearns from ever generating the type of momentum which can snowball quickly with its athleticism. He said that they knew if they didn’t turn the ball over and they could rebound the basketball, they knew they weren’t going to be able to get into their rhythm. Sim’s team only turned it over five times.
In the first quarter, Sampson, Trevan Leonhardt, and Redford all hit 3-pointers as Davis by the end of the quarter opened up a 25-11 lead. He settled its half-court offense in the second quarter and, aided by two more 3-pointers from Sampson, it maintained the 37-23 lead until halftime. Kearns came out with an aggressive and tough mindset offensive in the third quarter and trimmed the lead to 43-35 at the 3:35 mark with a 12-6 run.
However, the Darts closed the quarter on a 7-2 run to gain the lead again, and Sims credited K.O. Fisher with starting the run with a key offensive rebound and a key steal. He added that two consecutive possessions where K.O. made a play for them and really helped them out in that situation.
By: Preeti Narula