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High hopes abound as state boys tournaments
by JOSH McFADDEN
Mar 03, 2017 | 593 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print

After 12 region games and more than 20 overall, the real tests begin for four Davis County boys basketball teams. The state tournament has begun.

Viewmont and Davis in Class 5A, and Woods Cross and Bountiful in Class 5A are all participating in the postseason, as each team has its eyes on the big prize of a state championship.

Woods Cross

For the second straight year, the Wildcats owned Region 5. This season, Woods Cross went a perfect 12-0 in league play, capping off the regular season with a 59-47 win at Bonneville. The Wildcats used a 15-4 run in the second quarter to open up a lead. Trevin Knell and Trevor Trost each had 15 in the victory. Trost also had nine rebounds.

The 21-2 Wildcats opened the 4A state tournament against 11-11 Orem, Region 7s fourth-place team, on Tuesday (after our press deadline). Heading into the tournament, head coach Kasey Walkenhurst and his team were focused on a state title.

“The team is very motivated to make another run,” he said, alluding to last year’s tournament in which the Wildcats reached the semifinals. “We have to take each game as if it’s a state championship and survive and advance. We just need to keep doing what we do.”

Woods Cross boasts one of Class 4A’s most devastating duos in Knell and Trost. Knell averaged 25 point and six rebounds per game during the regular season, while Trost chipped in 12 points and six rebounds a contest.

“Trevin is so unique in that he has always been coachable and wanted to learn and get better, even though he has had a lot of successes,” Walkenhurst said. “He is always getting more and more shots up even after a tough or long practice. Trevor brings size that can rebound and that can shoot from the perimeter. He is a matchup problem for other bigs because he makes them come out of their comfort zones in the paint.”

Clearly the class of Region 5, Woods Cross was motivated in each game knowing that every opponent was gunning for the defending region champions. Walkenhurst was pleased with the way his players responded and believes it will serve them well in the postseason.

“It was very difficult because I believe we did get everybody's best shot night in and night out,” he said. “Our guys had to keep an edge about them no matter who we played or where we played. This team’s work ethic has been good all year despite the success. They know it takes more than just talent to get to where we want to go.”

Bountiful

The Braves had perhaps one of the best turnarounds in the state after going 1-10 during non-league play. Bountiful responded by going 8-4 in Region 5, good enough for second place behind Woods Cross. 

Bountiful wrapped up the runners-up spot by defeating Ogden 60-52 in the regular season finale Feb. 21. Brig Willard poured in 28 points and had 12 rebounds. Ryan Pollard had 15 points, and Cooper Ohlson contributed 11 points. 

The Braves began the state tournament against Corner Canyon on Tuesday (after or press deadline). We’ll have recaps on our Clipper Facebook page and of course a complete tournament wrapup in our March 9 edition.

Viewmont and Davis

The two rivals clashed on the final game of the regular season on Feb. 21. With a region title in the balance for the Vikings, Davis prevailed 62-46. The result moved the two teams into a second-place tie with one another, as each squad went 9-3 in league games. 

Viewmont won the earlier meeting 52-49 on Jan. 27, but this night belonged to Davis, which delighted the home crowd with a dominant performance. The Darts got contributions from all over the court, with Josh Sanders and Braxton Taylor each scoring 10 points. Ben Rigby had nine points and 11 rebounds. 

Lewis Johnson led the Vikings with 15 points and six rebounds. Josh Mordue had 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers.

Davis’ first-round matchup was against Pleasant Grove on Monday, where it lost 48-45. Davis managed just 25 points through the first three quarters and hit just 12 of its 51 shots. Tyson Garff led the way with 16 points and four rebounds. Davis ends the season with an overall record of 17-6.

Despite losing to Davis and ending up in a second-place tie with the Darts, the Vikings secured the second seed by virtue of tiebreakers. The Vikings took on Westlake on Monday and emerged with a 66-55 victory. Viewmont pulled away in the third quarter, breaking a halftime tie and going into the fourth quarter up by eight. Lewis Johnson had 19 points, and Josh Mordue contributed 12. 

The Vikings moved on to the quarterfinal where they faced defending 5A champion Bingham on Wednesday (after our press deadline).

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