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Kaysville • The ever-exciting Region 2 race provided another tight finish Tuesday night with Davis edging Syracuse 51-46 to keep the Darts in the hunt for a region crown.
On a night where neither team was able to shoot over 40 percent from the field, Davis made improved to 16-5 overall and 8-3 in the region with a rivalry game against Viewmont looming.
"We didn't have much flow offensively, it was pretty ugly," Davis senior guard Braxton Taylor said. "We kept battling, in the second half we started playing a lot harder defensively and that turned into enough offense for us. It was a dogfight for sure."
On a night when leading scorers Ben Rigby and Cade Whicker were unable to find decent scoring opportunities, Taylor scored 12 points to lead the Darts in scoring.
"We shared the ball a lot tonight because there wasn't much scoring," Taylor said. "Everyone got their fair share. The shots finally started falling because we were able to make the extra pass in the end … we definitely gave it to the open man and that gave us the boost to take the lead."
After Syracuse took a 29-28 lead at halftime, the teams combined to miss the first four shots of the second half and commit four turnovers before Whicker got a steal and layup to put Davis back on top. A back-and-forth battle ensued before Syracuse's Brock Gilbert's layup in the waning seconds of the quarter gave the Titans a 37-36 lead.
The first basket of the fourth quarter for either team was not scored until 5:44 remained in the game. After Taylor hit a 3, junior guard Josh Sanders hit a 3 of his own for a 46-43 Darts lead with 2:13 left.
"Some guys were creating really well for others down the stretch," Sanders said. "It goes back to our coach telling us to play together at halftime. We stuck together and got each other some open looks, and it worked out for us."
In the end, Davis' free throw shooting was just good enough to earn the victory, but 11-of-22 for the game will never be met with satisfaction by the team.
"We're usually much better than that [at free throw shooting], but I thought we did alright down the stretch," Sanders said. "When we really needed to, we made some shots. It's a relief, but it doesn't matter unless we win the next one [against Viewmont]."
Davis 51, Syracuse 46
R Davis finished shooting 16-of-40 from the floor (40 percent), 6-of-17 from beyond the arc and only 11-of-22 from the free throw line in the victory.
• Drew Carlson led Syracuse with 15 points, three rebounds and two assists.