The Wolves fell just short as the Darts escaped with a 63-54 victory at the Dee Events Center at Weber State.
Davis was able to pull away a little bit from the Timberwolves in the fourth quarter, with some help from two of their top players, Jackson Stevenette and Connor Van Brocklin. Up until the final eight minutes, it looked like the 8-13 Timberwolves were going to come up with the upset.
"I definitely took a deep breath after that one", Davis Head Coach Jay Welk said. "We were tight in the first half and Timpanogos played their hearts out in this one. We weren't able to answer (Skyler) Halford's aggressiveness in the first half. My hat's off to Timpanogos."
The Darts were able to overcome an uncharacteristic off-night of three-point and foul shooting. Davis usually knocks down more than 40 percent of their threes and over 70 percent of their charity-stripe shots. Timpanogos held Davis to just 31 percent from behind the arc and the Darts shot just 57.7 percent on free throws.
"I think one of the things that hurt us throughout the game was our lack of aggressiveness," Welk continued. "We started to play more aggressive in the fourth quarter and that usually helps us shoot better and play with more confidence."
A sequence in the fourth quarter is what really put the game away for the Darts. After a James Cowser lay-up from a Nick Gruninger pass gave Davis 55-49 with just over two minutes remaining, Stev-enette and the Darts defense kicked it into high gear. A Timpanogos turnover gave Gruninger a chance at a perfectly thrown bomb to Stev-enette, who was able to lay it in for a 57-49 lead and 1:15 remaining.
The next play was the play of the game as the Darts ran off a Timpanogos miss. The play unfolded for spectators in the stands as Gruninger ran down the right side of the court and spotted a wide-open Stevenette on the left sideline. What ensued was a crowd-erupting, 30-foot alley-oop to Stevenette. The senior did miss the one-and-one free throw, but at that point the game was officially out of reach.
Stevenette led both teams in rebounds with eight to go along with his 15 points. Gruninger matched the forward's point output and added six assists and four rebounds. Connor Van Brocklin led the Darts in scoring with 18 and hauled in five rebounds on four three-pointers made. The overall leading scorer was Skyler Halford for Timpanogos with 21 points. The point guard also chipped in six rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes of play.
The victory improved the Darts' overall record to 21-0. Davis drew Alta in the second round yesterday, but due to deadlines, that score wasn't able to make it into today's issue. Davis did play and beat the Hawks earlier this year, 58-42.
A second-round win could result in the match-up of the year between the "unbeaten, number two-ranked team in the state" Darts against the 5-A favorite and defending champion Lone Peak Knights tomorrow at 2:30 pm.
"All the kids need to do is find a way to positively contribute," Welk added. "It's simple, I tell them we just gotta win or we go home."