BOUNTIFUL – In a Region 1 battle three years in the making, the Davis Darts and Viewmont Vikings boys’ basketball teams hit the basketball court Friday night.
Neither side disappointed their respective crowds, but Davis was able to escape the Viewmont gym with a 61-57 win, picking up its 12th straight win in the process.
“This is as intense a rivalry as I’ve ever been involved with, and I’ve coached on three different teams,” said Darts coach Jay Welk. “Personally I’m glad to see Viewmont back in Region 1 because they really help build our region and they have a great team and are a great school.”
The game started with Davis’s Abel Porter shooting well, scoring 10 of the Darts’ 17 first quarter points in order to take a four-point lead.
A key turning point occurred in the second quarter; however, as Porter, Matt Morrell, and Jesse Wade went to the bench with two personal fouls each. Viewmont took advantage of the trio sitting on the bench, closing out the first half on a 12-0 run to take a 27-24 lead.
“Matt going to the bench first was a pretty big deal,” said Welk. “Then Porter goes to the bench and Jesse Wade goes to the bench with two fouls, now you’re looking at three very good players sitting next to (the coaches) at that point.”
The damage was done, and the Darts nine point lead turned into a three point halftime deficit thanks to Austin Johnson, McKay Butler and Jared Whitworth doing the bulk of the scoring.
Both the Darts and Vikings battle through the third quarter by exchanging leads and breaking a pair of ties. With the score tied at 36, Johnson and Whitworth scored back-to-back baskets to give the Vikings a four-point lead.
A quick bucket by Kletzli and a free throw made by Morrell had the Vikings hanging onto a slim one-point lead heading into the final quarter.
“Viewmont has some skilled players over there, and they’re very well coached,” said Welk of the Vikings. “Butler and Johnson are both very, very good players.”
Davis gained the lead in the fourth quarter when Porter was able to pull down a defensive rebound, and then run across the floor for a quick layup.
Porter made a pair of free throws the following play to give the Darts a four point lead, and the Vikings weren’t able to come back from that point, despite closing the gap to two points several times in the closing minutes.
Porter led the Darts with 18 points and had four rebounds with three assists. Kletzli scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds in the win.
For the Vikings, Austin Johnson and Butler finished with 18 points each. McKay Johnson scored 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
Davis will play Syracuse at Syracuse High School next Tuesday. The Vikings will remain home Friday to take on the Layton Lancers.