KAYSVILLE — When his team lost in overtime at Fremont last month, Davis coach Jay Welk calmly reminded his players they still controlled their own fate in Region 1. He told them with 11 straight wins to close the season, including a win over Fremont in the rematch, the Darts would guarantee themselves at least a piece of the region pie.
On Tuesday night, Davis won its eighth straight game, but more importantly, it took care of business in the rematch.
In front of a packed Davis High gym, the No. 3 Darts methodically pulled away from the No. 2 Silverwolves most of the game for a convincing 62-44 victory.
"We executed very well and defended very well. Very proud of our kids against a good basketball team," said Welk. "That's a team that's had great success this year."
With three games remaining in the Region 1 schedule, Fremont and Davis are now deadlocked at 12-1 in the standings — though it's the Darts who have the favorable schedule the rest of the way.
The hope of a fifth straight region crown would've been a moot point had Davis not been so efficient against Fremont, a win Welk called his team's best of the season.
The Darts led by four after the first quarter, seven at halftime and extended it to 16 in the third quarter before Fremont made a late push to whittle the deficit back to 42-35 after three. It ended up being false hope for Fremont as Davis ran away with the win in the fourth quarter.
"I think we're getting a little bit better every game, which is a good thing at this point in the year," said Welk.
Landon Horne was unstoppable for the Darts, finishing with a career-high 26 points. He was 3-of-7 behind the 3-point line, 6-of-6 inside the arc and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. Tallon Burton chipped in with 13 points and nine rebounds for Davis, while Jake Nish leading Fremont with 18 points.
The decisive stretch came after halftime. As well as Davis played in the first half dealing with Fremont's height advantage, Welk challenged his team to up the defensive effort even more in the second half. "We said 'let's not build the score on the offensive end — let's try and build it with what we're trying to do defensively,' " he said.
The result was a 9-0 Davis run to start the quarter as Fremont was held scoreless for over five minutes. Corey Craynor finally stopped the bleeding with a pair of free throws at the 2:44 mark, but Fremont still trailed 42-28
Ironically enough, Fremont held Davis scoreless over the last three minutes of the quarter as its 9-0 cut the lead to 42-35.
"We had to come back and again and do things defensively," said Welk.
Davis put the game out of reach with a 12-4 to start the quarter as it finished the game shooting an impressive 61 percent from the field while holding Fremont to 35 percent.