Davis senior Josh Sanders proved the antidote when whenever East threatened Thursday.
The Darts’ double-digit lead in the first half was seriously challenged in the third quarter, but Davis time and time again had the answers down the stretch to pull away for a 73-58 victory.
Sanders, who finished with 29 points, sliced into the teeth of the Leopards defense for layups three times early in the fourth quarter.
The Darts’ other big weapon? The 3-point shot.
Davis (6-1) hit a dozen long-range shots, including going 6 of 12 in the second half from beyond the arc.
“Tyson [Garff], Dallin [Anderson], they hit huge shots down the stretch. I think they both had two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter,” said Sanders, who also hit a pair of 3s in the game.
But the senior guard opted out of the long attempts in the fourth, when he scored a dozen points.
“In those situations, you’ve got to take it to the basket,” he said.
East (3-3), led by 22 points from big man Mikey Frazier, fell behind by 10 points after one period thanks to a 13-3 run by the Darts.
The Leopards were beset by turnovers and poor shooting throughout the first half. But a 9-0 run midway through the third quarter helped East tie the game when Jeremy Jiba hit a shot in the paint. But Davis responded with a 3-pointer by Anderson a minute later and, the Darts were back up 49-43 after three quarters when Garff swished a trey with 3 seconds left on the clock.
“We’re just coming together. We’re still finding out who we are,” Davis coach Chad Sims said. “We knew East would be a good opponent and a tough team on our schedule.”
The Darts’ lone setback of the season came in the opening round of the Utah Elite 8 tournament against Corner Canyon last week. But Davis bounced back to beat Bingham and Brighton.
Thursday’s game was held in the old gymnasium at East, across the hall from the main gym, which is undergoing repair on the floor after summer flooding warped the hardwood.
“I actually really liked it. I told the athletic director that I thought it was a great atmosphere,” said Sims, whose team at one point was the recipient of a pair of technical foul shots when a portion of the East student section celebrated a made 3-pointer by jumping off the front row of the bleachers and onto the floor.
“It was a little bit different,” Sims said. “It was fun.”
DAVIS 73, EAST 58
• Davis senior Josh Sanders scores 29 points while Tyson Garff adds 18 for the Darts.
• Mike Frazier, East’s 6-foot-10 center, tallies 22 points to lead the Leopards.
• An eight-point run by Davis after East cut the score to 59-52 with three minutes left puts the finishing touches on the game for the visitors.