Ogden • Kearns had the best player on the court, but Dayon Goodman was no match for what Davis has to offer Monday evening.
The Darts pounded the ball inside to their pair of 6-foot-7 post players and had little trouble in a 56-43 victory against Kearns in the first round of the Class 5A boys’ state tournament at Weber State.
"We needed to shut [Goodman] down and stop things for him early," said Davis senior center Braden Koelliker, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds. "The last couple of games we’ve come out and shot the ball deep and we’ve gotten off to some slow starts. We decided we were going to attack and go after it, and it really paid off for us."
Goodman finished with a game-high 21 points, but got little help from his supporting cast. Kearns (15-9) made just 1 of 17 3-point attempts and only one other Cougar — Bushmen Ebet with 13 — scored more than three points.
Davis (17-5) never trailed, partly because of its prowess at the free-throw line. The Darts made 12 free throws in the second half — two more than Kearns made in the game.
"We’ve been a 1 seed twice and gone out and been knocked out by a 4, so we know in the first round it’s always tough," Davis coach Jay Welk said. "To have [size in the post] is a real good luxury. We haven’t had this kind of size since I’ve been here, which has been a long time."
Goodman pleased the crowd with a crossover dribble that split two defenders and resulted in a layup and foul in the third quarter. He scored nine points in the period, but for most of the game, Kearns struggled to find room inside against Koelliker and forward Alex Morrell.
The Darts denied the electric Goodman a chance to play against Lone Peak, the state’s No. 1 team, in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Instead, it’s Davis that’s ready to take a crack at the seemingly indomitable Knights.
"It’s another game for us," said Koelliker, who stayed with his teammates to watch Lone Peak’s victory against West Jordan. "We’re going to practice the same, we’re going to play the same."
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