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High school girls basketball: Davis scorches the rims for 17 3-pointers in big win over Syracuse

The Darts took a tiebreaker lead in the Region 1 standings over the Titans while avenging their only loss of the season

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Davis Darts T’Maea Eteuati (1) drives the ball against Syracuse Titans guard Avery Sanders (3) at Syracuse High School in Syracuse on Friday, Feb. 9, 2023.

Marielle Scott, Deseret News

A little luck is needed to win in basketball, Davis girls basketball coach Anne Jones believes.

On Friday night in front of a large crowd in a game that was essentially the de facto Region 1 title, the Darts appeared to have brought a truckload of luck with them as they hit an absolutely blistering 17 3-pointers in a 68-45 rout on the road against Syracuse.

For Davis, it couldn’t have come at a better time in the season as the Darts moved to 18-1 overall, hung a decisive win over the only team that had beaten them this season and took a tie-breaker lead over the Titans for the top spot in the Region 1 race.

With both squads scheduled to close out the season as overwhelming favorites in their remaining two games each, Davis’ lead is highly likely to deliver them a region title with the win.

“I say every single game, you gotta have a little bit of luck, and you gotta have a little bit of timing,” Jones said. “We’ve worked really hard, and every team that we play, we know that they’re a tough team.”

The 17 3s by Davis tied for the second-most in a single game in state history, just two shy of the state record, and was the most ever by a 6A team.

Davis entered the game averaging 5.78 3-pointers made per game for the season, but the Darts already had sunk nine of them by halftime as they took a 35-25 lead.

By contrast, Davis hit six 3s the last time the two teams played, and Syracuse took that game in a 49-39 slugfest.

“We lost the game before, and we wanted to come back stronger and better than ever,” sophomore guard T’Maea Eteuati said. “We’ve really been working for this…our teamwork made it easy for us to hit shots outside.”

The benchmark set by the Darts was largely due to a lights-out shooting performance from Eteuati, who became the 27th player in state history to hit eight or more 3-pointers in a game.

She hit exactly eight of them before cooling off late in the fourth quarter and led all scorers with 26 points, even while resting for several minutes of the fourth quarter.

“It feels really good,” Eteuati said. “I think it was due to my teammates. We were all making good passes, and we were all working together as a team.”

Senior Kendra Kitchen, largely regarded as one of the state’s best players, had just five points at halftime, but she caught fire in the second half, including making three treys in the fourth quarter (four total) as she finished with 18 points.

Senior Kate Richards also added 16 points and — you guessed it — another four 3-pointers.

“We knew we had to shoot the ball well because they were going to shut down Kendra,” Jones said. “Kendra’s one of the best players in the state, and everybody knows about her. We knew our shooters had to shoot.”

The Darts outscored the Titans in every quarter, and Syracuse only led twice all game long, making the game’s first shot and briefly holding an 8-6 lead early in the first quarter.

Both teams made it pretty clear early on what kind of game it was going to be. After the first made shot was a layup by Syracuse’s Camden King, the two teams combined to make five 3-pointers in a row as Davis took a 12-11 lead.

While Syracuse eventually cooled off from the arc, Davis just kept firing to unbelievable success, going on a hot streak so infernal that even a team as elite as the Titans couldn’t do a thing to stop it.

Syracuse fell to 16-4 on the season. The Titans were led by senior guar Avery Sanders, who had 19 points, and senior Cortnie Barker with 11.

The Darts will wrap up the regular season with likely wins over Farmington on Tuesday and Weber next Friday, both at home. Syracuse hosts Fremont on Tuesday then travels to Farmington next Friday.