by Josh McFadden
The boys basketball season can be divided into three sections: the non-region play, region play and the postseason.
The third act has begun, and it’s where the stakes get much higher.
Every team starts the season hoping to reach the state tournament, but not everyone gets in on all the fun. The top four teams in every region qualify for the playoffs. This season, Davis (Class 6A, Region 1), Viewmont (Class 5A, Region 5) and Bountiful (Region 5) made it to the postseason.
The 6A state tournament got underway on Tuesday, and the 5A state tournament began on Monday. First-round matchups were at Utah Valley University and Weber State University. The rest of both tournaments will be held at the University of Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Center.
A year finishing as runner-up in Region 2 in Class 5A, the Davis Darts tied with Weber for third in Region 1 this season with a 7-5 record. The Darts won the tie-breaker over Weber and earned the No. 3 seed thanks to its regular season sweep of the Warriors. Davis took care of Weber 61-53 on Jan. 23 and 56-50 on Feb. 16.
Davis won its final two regular season game to clinch the playoff berth. Aside from the big win over Weber, it also upended Clearfield 65-33 on Feb. 21 in the final regular season game. Davis actually trailed 12-8 after the first quarter but then blew the game wide open with huge second and third quarters. The Darts outscored Northridge 37-11 during that 12-minute stretch. Josh Sanders paced the team with 19 points, while Trey Grossenbach chipped in 12 points. Rich Stucki had a great all-around game with nine points, eight rebounds and three assists. Defensively, Davis limited Northridge to just 33 percent shooting from the field.
For their efforts, the Darts faced Granger in the first round at Utah Valley University. The game ended after our press deadline. With a victory, the Darts would face the winner of Lone Peak and Herriman on Thursday.
The Vikings narrowly missed out on sharing the Region 5 title. They finished 6-2 and in second place, a game behind Box Elder.
Viewmont headed into the state tournament on a big roll. After an up-and-down pre-region season, the team won eight of its final 10 games. The Vikings wrapped up the regular season with a 66-61 victory over Bountiful on Feb. 20, defeating their crosstown rivals for the second time this season. Leading scorer Josh Mordue once again garnered the most points for his team. He totaled 25 points and seven rebounds in the win. Chandler Cox also collected seven rebounds; he added 13 points. The Vikings hit all 16 of their free throws.
Viewmont opened up postseason play with a game against Springville on Monday, and ran off with a convincing 73-55 victory. Spencer MacKay led the Vikes with 22 points, and Mordue came off the bench to score 21. Springville was the No. 3 seed from Region 8. Viewmont earned the right to play Olympus on Wednesday. The Titans rolled over Brighton 86-59 on Monday.
Despite its loss to Viewmont in the final regular season contest, the Braves still grabbed the third playoff spot from Region 5. Bountiful headed into the state tournament with a 4-4 region record and faced Region 8’s second-place team Skyridge on Monday. The Braves used a high-pressured defense to top the Falcons, 56-52. Isaac Kime led Bountiful with 14 points and Brig Willard added 10, but the clincher came when Jadon Chism made four free throws in the final minute as Skyridge had to foul.
The Braves have enjoyed balanced scoring this season, with Willard leading the way with 16.8 points per game. He’s also the leading rebounder with 5.4 a game. Sophomore Camron Chism is second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.9 per game, while junior Kime isn’t far behind at 11.3 points per game. Kime also averages an impressive 3.7 points per game.
The Braves were to face Skyline on Wednesday afternoon. The Eagles upset Region 7 champ Timpview 67-63 on Monday.