VACAVILLE — People say baseball is a game of inches and the motto often applies to football as well. But on Monday, the saying rang true for the Davis High boys basketball team in a 72-66 CIF Foundation Game victory over Vacaville.
After one half, the Blue Devils clung to a 37-36 advantage as their fast-paced running game — which has produced scores of more than 100 points on several occasion in the past few years — never really got going.
“We fouled way too much and that kind of kills pace,” said DHS coach Dan Gonzalez. “Two of our key guys even fouled out so that’s not good. But it’s our first game and that gives us something to look at and work on.”
But things changed in the third quarter when the Devil defenders’ swipes at the ball were a few inches more accurate. What were fouls in the first half became steals in the third period and the locals used a 23-8 quarter to take control.
“We came out really great in the third quarter and it was mainly our defensive pressure, we caused a lot of turnovers,” Gonzalez said. “That set us up for our running game.”
All in all, the veteran coach was pleased with his team’s opening performance, especially against a solid Bulldog squad that won the Monticello Empire League last season.
On the offensive end of the court, senior Brandon Strong — starting his third season on varsity — led Davis with 19 points.
“Brandon Strong kind of carried us (Monday). He hit five threes and grabbed a lot of rebounds,” Gonzalez said. “He’s definitely (our leader), he’s our most seasoned guy.”
The rest of the Blue Devil scoring was a balanced effort with sophomore Glen Welch (10 points), senior Brett Bloomfield (eight) and senior Matt Michael (eight) making strong contributions. Six points from Ben Prussel, five points from Logan Davis, four each from Ben Crook and Nate Curtis, three apiece from Austin Lampley and Cliff Tsai and a bucket by Ryan Kreidler rounded out the DHS scoring.
According to Gonzalez, the Devils were at their best when Bloomfield was running the offense:
“Brett Bloomfield at the point guard position did a great job of pacing the ball, When’s he’s in, things are really clicking. I think he thinks of this as his team, which is what a good point guard does.”
Davis’ first official game is Thursday at the Bella Vista Tournament. The Blue Devils take on the host Broncos at 7 p.m.