by James Tate
Co-region 1 champions Davis Darts and Fremont Silverwolves
This game was going to decide if the Darts would have an outright region championship or if they would share it with the defending champs, Silverwolves. The Darts defeated the Silverwolves earlier in the season and came into the game with a 12-game win streak. Fremont is the perennial region power that had won 73 consecutive region games before losing to the Darts at Davis High School. Both teams came ready to play in this game at The Den at Fremont High School.
Silverwolves defensive pressure in the first half
The Silverwolves experienced backcourt duo of seniors Sierra Eddie and Charli Hunt put pressure on the young Darts and made it difficult for them to advance the ball. Fremont also used its size with senior Beth Hacker, junior Syncere Langston, and sophomore Kaidance King to defend all-state player Kendra Kitchen. The first quarter saw Eddie and senior forward Aly Coombs each knock down three-point shots for the Silverwolves. Kitchen led the Darts with three first-quarter points as the Silverwolves took an 11-7 lead.
The second quarter started with Dart’s junior Avery Dain nailing a three-pointer and making the score 11-10, Silverwolves. With 5:39 on the clock, Eddie attempted a three-point shot but was fouled. She made all three free throws, then a jump shot after a Davis turnover, and added another three-point basket for an 18-10 score at the 4:20 mark.
Eddie continued her hot shotting and finished the quarter with 11 points. The Darts could not find a rhythm because of the Silverwolve’s pressure defense. Kitchen was active inside, drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line. Kitchen finished the game by making only four of 11 free throws. The Silverwolves led at halftime 25-13.
Kitchen came out in the third quarter and made her first two layups for a 25-17 score, and then after King of Fremont made two free throws, Kitchen drained a three-point shot. The score stood at 27-20, Silverwolves, with 6:15 left in the third quarter. Eddie and Kitchen exchanged three-point baskets, and with 2:45 on the clock, the Silverwolves held a 31-23 lead. The Darts then cut the lead to six points, 31-25, after freshman guard T’Maea Eteuati scored on a layup.
Fremont responded with Coombs making a driving layup, and then junior guard Ama Herrick nailed a three-point shot to put the lead back up to 11 points, 36-25, with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter. The quarter ended with Eteuati making a layup for the Darts for a 36-27 score.
Silverwolves pull away in the fourth quarter
Kitchen kept the Darts close in the fourth quarter by scoring on a jump shot with 5:20 on the clock for a 37-30 score. The Silverwolves then saw Eddie nail a three-point shot, and then the biggest shot of the game was Coombs making a three-pointer with 3:07 left in the game for a 45-30 score. Coombs’s three-pointer would be too much for the Darts to make a comeback.
After Kitchen made a jumper and Coombs’s final layup, the game ended with Fremont winning 47-32. Keys to the Silverwolve’s victory was its pressure defense, causing turnovers and big plays from Eddie and Coombs.
The Silverwolves Eddie scored a team-high 19 points while making four three-point shots. Coombs was next in scoring with 12 points, and the interior defense of Hacker, King, and Langston was excellent.
The Dart’s Kitchen poured in a game-leading 22 points and made big shots to keep the Darts in the game until the fourth quarter.
Both teams now celebrate their championship and look towards next week’s state tournament start.
photos courtesy James Tate, Davis Darts photo courtesy of Josh Wood of Davis High School