OREM — The Davis Darts tried not to think of Tuesday's opening round of the 5A playoffs any different than any other game.

They tried not to believe that getting through the season with just two losses entitled to anything other than a playoff berth.

"We've just divided the season into three mini-seasons and this is just the start of the final season," said head coach Amy Wright after the Darts advanced to the quarterfinals with a 49-40 win over Jordan. "We still have individual goals, but our team goal is to go deep into the playoffs."

The No. 1 seeded Darts did that by withstanding a frantic and relentless effort by fourth-seeded Jordan. Davis is a team with quick guards who can both drive to the basket and hit an outside jump shot, and Jordan did a lot defensively that bothered the Darts in the first half of the game.

"They played smart and they were pretty aggressive," Wright said of Jordan. "We had to make some adjustments."

The score at halftime was 20-18 in the Darts favor, but Davis came out in the second half and slowly pulled away from the Beetdiggers. Jordan got into foul trouble and lost leading scorer Julianne Egbert for most of third quarter and part of the fourth. She finished with just 10 points, while teammate Izzy Gustafson picked up the slack with 12 points. Bev Smith added nine points for Jordan.

Davis got contributions from a number of girls, including those off the bench. Allison Blake finished with 11 points, while Jenica Johnson added seven points.

Watching third-seeded American Fork beat second-seeded Riverton drove home the idea that a team's regular season record just isn't important now that the playoffs have begun.

"It just makes you realize that you have to play your hardest every game because no one is going to just lay down for you," said junior guard Dani Hosking. She said in addition to the usual pre-game nerves, the Darts were excited just to earn their first playoff victory in nearly a decade.

"It feels good, amazing; I love it," said Hosking, who led all scorers with 20 points. "Now we hope we can just keep it going."


E-mail: adonaldson@desnews.com