Koelliker, Porter dominate in first-round victory
OGDEN -- Braden Koelliker scored 17 points with 11 rebounds, and Abel Porter added 12 points for the Davis Darts as the duo helped the Davis Darts boys’ basketball team beat Kearns 56-43 in the opening round of the 5A playoffs, held at Weber State University’s Dee Events Center.
“The last couple days we’ve worked on getting the ball around this season, and we got out there and performed well together,”said Koelliker, who also had three assists and three blocks in the win. “It’s huge to have (Cole) Hally and (Abel) Porter out there to take care of the middle of the floor.”
Although Kearns won the opening tipoff, Davis scored early and often. They took an 11-4 lead through the first four minutes.
Koelliker had six of the team’s 14 first quarter points, and combined with Porter and Hally to take a 14-11 lead after the first quarter. Davis extended the lead to eight points after the first half, and then held the lead during the third quarter, which saw both teams score 13 points each.
For the Cougars, Dayon Goodman and Bushman Ebet proved tough to stop. The duo scored 16 of Kearns’ 23 second-half points, and at one point had the team’s deficit down to three points.
Davis’ defense responded early in the fourth quarter, getting stops that led to the offense scoring early and often.
Koelliker and Chance Parker opened the quarter with four quick points, then forced Kearns to foul often.
Davis scored most of its remaining points from the free-throw line, converting on nine of 13 attempts in the closing quarter.
“Chance responded incredibly well tonight,” said Darts’ coach Jay Welk. “He played very well and has taken advantage of all his playing time. First-round games are tough, so it’s good to get this win and play another game.”
Davis’ next game will be against Lone Peak, which defeated West Jordan 90-53 in the first round, on Wednesday. The Knights are ranked No. 1 nationally, but it hasn’t changed the game plan or the readiness of the Darts, said Koelliker.
“Coach Welk gets us prepared for every game no matter who the opponent is,”he said. “We’re going to go out and focus on us and how we play our game. It doesn’t matter who are opponent is or where we are entering the playoffs, we’ll be prepared.”
Welk echoed Koelliker’s comments, adding that the team has been anywhere from a No. 1 to a No. 4 seed, each ending in different outcomes.
“We’ve been a No. 1 seed and lost in the first round,” he said. “We’ve also been a No. 3 or No. 4 and have gone deep into the playoffs. We don’t worry about where we are (in the playoffs); it’s a matter of how we play when we get there.”
Koelliker finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. Porter scored 12 points with four assists and Parker scored 10 points with five rebounds and three assists. Wade scored eight points and had five steals in the win.
Tip off for the Darts’ game against the Knights will be at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday.