ROY – Friday night’s game between the fourth-ranked Davis Darts and 11th–ranked Roy Royals boys’ basketball teams went from complete dominance on one side to a near overtime affair.
But a fourth quarter collapse by the Darts was averted when Spencer Duke made a free throw that gave the Darts a four point lead, and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Dakota Nalder led to the 63-62 win for Davis.
“I don’t think you’re going to find a guy in the locker room that feels happy about their performance tonight,” said Darts’ coach Jay Welk. “Give a lot of credit to Roy. They were down 20 in the third and here they come. I think both teams learned a great deal tonight.”
Davis completely dominated the first half, outscoring the Royals 19-12 in the first quarter and building up a 10 point halftime lead. Elijah Kletzli scored 10 points in the first half, all from inside the paint.
“He’s a very skilled player, and we’ve known that about him,” said Welk of Kletzli. “We had good guys last year, and he was just buried on the bench behind other good players. He can do a lot of good things, and he has guys around him that can help him.”
Davis continued to dominate the Royals through the third quarter, scoring 20 points and maintaining a big lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Davis senior Abel Porter scored the Darts final nine points in the third quarter, and scored all but one of the Darts’ points in the fourth.
But it was the Royals that found the hot hand as a team, going on a 10-2 run to start the quarter to close the deficit to 10 points with 4:20 remaining in the game.
“They went into a different defense, and we kind of lost our mindset of ‘attack, attack,’” said Porter of the Royals’ run. “They forced some turnovers and made some big plays.”
Roy kept chipping away at the lead; however, and a 3-pointer by Cody Hobbs made the score 62-59 in favor of Davis.
Duke converted 1-of-2 free throws after being fouled late, and Nalder’s 3-pointer at the buzzer closed out the scoring.
“We don’t have a bunch of varsity experience, and I think playing in a clutch is good for some of those other players we have,” said Porter. “We can really take away a lot from winning games like this.”
Porter finished with 25 points, five rebounds and four assists. Kletzli finished with a double-double, scoring 17 points with 12 rebounds in the win.
Roy’s Breckott Chapman scored a team-high 23 points in the loss.
The Darts will face Cottonwood at Davis High School Friday night at 7 p.m.