State boys basketball roundup: Davis reaches quarterfinals, narrowly missing semifinals tripMar 06, 2023 10:26AM ● By Josh McFadden
Davis’ Cole Atwater (1) puts up a Free Throw during the Quarter Final game at Weber against Lone Peak. By Josh Wood
Last season, as the No. 2 seed in the Class 6A state tournament, the Davis boys basketball team was on the wrong end of a stunner. This year, the Darts were the ones pulling off some surprises.
The 2021–22 Davis team went 22-1 in the regular season and 11-1 in Region 1 to capture the league crown. A favorite to win it all, Davis stubbed its toe in its first game to region foe Syracuse. This season, the Darts had some ups and downs in a rebuilding season of sorts, going 6-6 in region games to finish in a tie for fourth place. Davis had the No. 12 seed in this year’s tournament but advanced to the quarterfinals and were just a bucket away from reaching the semifinals.
The Darts began on Feb. 22 with a 58-52 victory over No. 21 Weber, a fellow Region 1 opponent. Davis had little trouble in its two wins over Weber in the regular season, winning by 27 and 10 points in the contests. This time around, the going was a little tougher, as Davis outlasted the Warriors 58-52 at home. A big 21-9 second quarter was a key in the team’s win. Coleman Atwater had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists for Davis. Kaden Eggett added 16 points and eight rebounds. Davis forced a lot of turnovers, amassing 12 steals on the day.
Two days after dispatching Weber for the third time this season, the Darts had a more challenging foe, Region 3 champion Riverton, the No. 5 seed in the tournament. After three quarters, the Darts had just 26 points and trailed by seven points. But in the final quarter, Davis outscored the Silverwolves 20-11 to move on in the postseason. Davis shot just 15 of 42 from the field in a defensive game but made eight of nine free throws. Atwater led the team with 14 points and six rebounds. No other Davis player had double figures in scoring, though Alex Fisher had nine points, and Zach Fisher and Eggett each had eight.
With a berth in the semifinals next on the line, Davis almost pulled off a huge upset.
On Feb. 28, the Darts faced No. 4 seed and perennial state power Lone Peak at Weber State University. The two teams met back on Dec. 15, with Lone Peak prevailing 73-69. Once again, this clash was a close, down-to-the-wire one.
Lone Peak pulled out ahead 16-10 after one quarter and 25-17 at halftime. But Davis chipped away at the Knights’ lead, closing the gap to 40-34 after three quarters. The Darts continued the comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring Lone Peak 18-14. However, Davis couldn’t pull ahead, ultimately falling short, 54-52. Davis had a chance to win at the end but missed a three-pointer at the buzzer. Davis was 10 of 18 from the line and 18 of 39 from the field. Eggett paced the Darts with 17 points, while Fisher and Atwater each contributed 10 points. Fisher had eight points and seven rebounds.
With the loss, Davis’ season ended with an overall mark of 14-12. Fisher was the leading scorer for the Darts, averaging 12.2 points a game. He also averaged 6.2 rebounds an outing to lead the team. Eggett had a scoring average of 11.6 points per game, and Atwater and Colby Whicker put up 10.6 and 10.4 points per game, respectively.
Davis returns some firepower next season as the team looks to build off the postseason success. Atwater is just a sophomore, and Fisher is a junior. Ike Morgan, who led the team in assists, is a junior.