KAYSVILLE – Tuesday night’s game against the Jordan Beetdiggers may not have ended the way the players, or coach Jay Welk, would have liked it, but they’ll take it nonetheless.
In a game that saw Davis’ lead nearly disappear after the first half, the Darts blew away the Beetdiggers 73-40 in front of their home crowd to finish preseason play 8-1.
Davis started the game by building a huge lead, going up 19-3 and not allowing a field goal for Jordan during the entire quarter.
Jordan’s only points came from the free-throw line. As a team, the Beetdiggers didn’t even score 10 points until five minutes were left in the second quarter.
However, from that point on, the Beetdiggers completely controlled the floor. Using its first field goal as momentum, Jordan went on a 11-4 run and trimmed Davis’ lead from 16 points to just three points after the first half.
“We were disappointed in our second quarter,” said Welk. “We go on a 19-1 run to start the game, then we end the half up 23-20. I thought we got away from things that were going good for us over the first eight games.”
Welk said, however, that there wasn’t any screaming or yelling in the locker room, after the first half, and the team knew it needed to perform better in the second half.
“They’re a smart group of guys,” he said. “These guys get it. They know what they’re doing and they knew what needed to be done defensively.”
Davis’ defense stepped up in the second half, allowing 20 total points. They also allowed one player from Jordan to score in double digits.
On offense, the Darts shooting skills became evident as they slowly began to rebuild their lead. Following a three-point play by Abel Porter to start the quarter, Jesse Wade and Matt Morrell helped the Darts go on a 13-2 run. The duo ended the third quarter with three consecutive 3-pointers, giving the Darts a 59-32 lead.
Elijah Kletzli, the Darts’ center, was the dominant force in Friday night’s game. The senior finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
“He’s not a surprise to us; he’s a surprise to everybody else because they hadn’t had a chance to see him,” Welk said. “He’s a good high school basketball player. I’ve coached a lot of kids that have gone on to play basketball beyond this level, and I think he has the ability to do that.”
Davis used mostly bench players in the fourth quarter, and still scored 14 points to close out the game.
Jesse Wade scored 24 points and pulled down six rebounds, and Porter scored 14 points with four assists and four rebounds.
Davis will start Region 1 play on the road against Weber next Friday at 7 p.m.
“This is a new season,” said Welk. “It’s good to go against other opponents, but now we have to start it on the road. We’re going to have to go out and start executing.”