The Mustang basketball team opened 2020 with a big win over Clarke in South Central Conference play. Davis County scored 35 second-half points on their way to a 62-38 win on Jan, 7. The victory was Davis County’s second of the season and their first in conference play.

Dalton Reeves sparked the Mustang offense with 27 points. Noah Zmolek added 14. The two Mustang forwards also accounted for 13 of the team’s 28 total rebounds.

The Mustangs have relied heavily on these two boys for their offensive production and the two have responded. So far this season, Reeves leads the team in scoring with an average of 16.6 points per game. Zmolek averages 13.9 points per game.

Since these two are the main post players for Davis County, they also spent a lot of time pulling down much needed rebounds in games this season. Zmolek leads the team with an average of 6.9 rebounds per game while Reeves is just behind him with an average of 5.7 rebounds per game.

When this game started, things didn’t look good for a Mustang team that struggled to get going once the opening tip was throw into the air. The Mustangs struggled to score, their play was a bit sluggish, and the Indians built a 9-3 lead over Davis County once most of the first-quarter clock ticked away. A pair of late three-pointers from Caedyn Glosser erased the Clarke lead and brought the Mustangs back to an 11-11 tie game at the end of the first quarter.

Defense was the key to Davis County taking control in the second quarter. Davis County stepped up its hustle. They got hands in passing lanes, steppe up the pressure on both ends of the court, and the rebounding efforts kept the Indians from getting much in the way of second-shot opportunities.

Meanwhile, Reeves and Zmolek began to step up their play as well. The two Mustang big men began to challenge the Clarke defense and it worked. When they didn’t score, they drew a Clarke foul and ended up at the free-throw line. The Mustangs erased the Clarke lead in the first half. After allowing just one Clarke point in the second quarter, Davis County jumped out to a 27-12 lead at the break. As long as they could maintain their intensity in the second half, the boys were in good shape.

Reeves came out fired up and put the team on his back as he lit up the scoreboard in the third quarter. Four of his five second-half field goals came in the third quarter. Reeves was also deadly from the free-throw line missing just once in eight tries. Reeves led the Mustangs on a 19-point scoring run in the quarter and boosted the Mustangs to a 46-28 lead going into the final eight minutes of play.

Clarke worked to shut down Reeves in the final quarter, but that just left Zmolek with additional chances to pour in points. Davis County also got some help from Alex Lynch who hit a key three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. Riley Heller and Carson Maeder also put in some important minutes and hit some big free throws down the stretch to help keep Davis County’s momentum going.

The Mustangs finished with 27 total rebounds. Along with Zmolek and Reeves, Maeder also pulled down six rebounds while Carson Zeitler had four.

The Mustang success was also sparked by unselfishness from the Mustangs. Davis County had 15 assists in this game led by point guard Ivan Garcia who had six.

“We played a pretty clean game on both sides of the ball. Our kids played as a team and shared the basketball well,” said Coach Jamie Cason. “We still had some careless turnovers, but we will continue to improve in that area.

“Dalton Reeves has really raised his level of play and showed a lot of passion tonight,” said Cason of his leading scorer. “I thought our bench stepped-up and made an impact in our game. We are happy for the boys but they also know bigger challenges are ahead.”

Score by quarters

DC    11    27    46    62

C      11    12    28    38

Scoring—Reeves, 27; Zmolek, 14; Caedyn Glosser, 6; Alex Lynch, 5; Carson Maeder, 4; Carson Zeitler, 3; Ivan Garcia, 2 and Riley Heller, 1.

Rebounds—Zmolek, 7; Reeves, 6; Maeder, 6; Zeitler, 4; Garcia, 2; Glosser, 1 and Jesse Bonner, 1.

Assists—Garcia, 6; Zeitler, 3; Reeves, 2; Heller, 1; Maeder, 1; Lynch, 1 and Zmolek, 1.

Steals—Glosser, 3; Zmolek, 2; Garcia, 1 and Reeves, 1.