Prep boys' basketball: Davis grinds out win over Layton
Layton • Abel Porter curled the left elbow of the key and banked in a basket that, after three back-and-forth quarters, gave his Davis Darts a lead they would finally hold onto for good.
It wasn't the SportsCenter highlight about which the junior guard has heard so much. Rather, it was the product of practice and good execution and the kind of shot that has helped Davis grind out a 13-1 record so far this season.
"We're not a team that is going to come out and dominate people," Darts coach Jay Welk said after a 71-64 win over Layton on Friday night. "But we're a good basketball team."
The Darts, now 3-0 in Region 1, have gotten each opponent's best shot, and Friday night was no different.
The Lancers and Darts changed leads more than a dozen times in the first three quarters, as Layton pounded the ball inside to its junior center, Mike Hibbert, who finished with 11 points in the first half.
The Lancers' athletic forwards, Marcus Kemp and Jarriesse Blackmon, also gave the Darts trouble by getting the basket and corralling offensive rebounds. And senior forward Josh Harrop came off the bench to lead the Lancers (8-8, 1-2) in scoring with 14 points, while being cheered on by a raucous student section.
But Welk's Darts, as they have all year, were able to weather it.
"We have been consistent in our mental capacity in tight games," the coach said. "We don't see meltdowns in those situations. We've played in some tough games, both here and in [a tournament in] Wyoming. We've played in front of some big crowds and some loud crowds, and our kids have not been intimidated."
Davis held Hibbert to a single bucket in the second half, and limited Harrop to just three second-half points.
"We knew emotions were high and we really just wanted to focus on outdefending them," Porter said.
Davis sophomore Jesse Wade provided a huge boost for his team in the second quarter, when he dropped 14 points.
"My shots just finally started falling," Wade, who finished with 22, said. "I'm still getting used to things, but I feel like I'm getting comfortable in the offense."
Porter, who earned national attention with a half-court buzzer-beater earlier this year, added 22 himself, including that go-ahead bank shot.
"I know I've practiced that shot," he said. "It should go in."
Davis 71, Layton 64
O Abel Porter and Jesse Wade each score 22 points to help the Darts to a win.
• The lead changes hands more than a dozen times in the first three quarters.