Sawyer Cottrell was a sixth-man assassin on Friday night, and boy did his team need it.
Top-ranked Davis had an off night offensively against rival Farmington, but Cottrell’s hot hand in the second half rescued his team as it held on for the 46-43 win after Farmington’s potential game-tying 3-pointer bounced off the side of the rim at the buzzer.
The miss capped an electric atmosphere in front of a standing-room only crowd at Davis High School.
“I thought it was pretty cool for the two communities. For the first time to be on the basketball court in competitive way for these two communities, I thought it was fun for the kids and fun for the fans,” said Davis coach Chad Sims.
Cottrell put on a show for the home crowd during a five-minute stretch of the second half, and on a night both teams were blah offensively, it was realistically the difference in the game.
With Davis trailing 21-20 midway through the third quarter, Cottrell buried 3-pointers on three straight possessions, pushing Davis ahead 29-23 with 1:47 left in the third.
He opened the fourth quarter with another 3-pointer, stretching the lead to 34-23 before the raucous crowd.
“Sawyer’s a phenomenal player. He’s one of the best players on our team,” said Sims.
Cottrell had a chance to make it five straight 3s as Sims drew up a heat-check play for him coming out of a Farmington timeout, but he proved he was human on the night and missed.
Amid Cottrell’s lethal shooting, Farmington could’ve easily wilted down double digits, but to the players’ credit they didn’t.
The Phoenix kept scrapping offensively and getting buckets, and then at the other end, Davis kept missing free throws — it finished just 12 of 21 from the line.
After Devin Day got hot with three straight buckets midway through the fourth quarter, Collin Chandler then finally found his rhythm in the fourth quarter, scoring nine straight points to cut the deficit to 42-38 with under a minute remaining in the game.
“Collin’s the best player in the state, and our players think highly of Collin and they’re best friends with Collin. They played all growing up, so to be honest with you I couldn’t tell them anything they didn’t know or weren’t prepared for,” said Sims.
“They knew what he was going to be, and Collin is a competitor, and we just knew to try and hold him down.”
After Chandler’s layup cut the lead to four, Farmington’s pressure defense forced a turnover at midcourt and a couple passes later, Cole Johnson buried a corner 3-pointer cutting the once double-digit deficit to 42-41 with 44 seconds left in the game.
After the teams traded points on their ensuing possessions, Davis senior Colby Sims stepped to the foul line with 15.8 seconds left with a chance to push Davis’ lead back to three.
Instead he only made 1 of 2 shots.
With a chance to potentially tie or take the lead trailing 45-43, Farmington turned the ball over — its 16th turnover of the game.
Davis again left the door open by making 1 of 2 free throws, and Farmington nearly capitalized as its potential tying shot rimmed away.
Cottrell only made one other shot besides his four 3-pointers, but his team-high 14 points helped the Darts improve to 13-0 on the season.
Chandler finished with a game-high 15 points, with Day adding 13.