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Devil boys head to a big-time tourney

By December 26, 2010

Enterprise staff writer

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A week in San Diego at the holidays is a restful, joyous experience for most families.

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But for the Davis High boys basketball brethren, this week in the Southland is a business trip.

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The Blue Devils (7-2) — coming off their worst performance of the year in a 45-39 loss to Wood on Tuesday — venture into uncharted waters as they play in the ESPN/iScore Invitational on Monday against Brea Olinda (6-5). Game time is 5:25 p.m.

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The tournament, featuring 90 high schools from western states (including Hawaii), was scheduled by DHS head coach Dan Gonzalez as part of a continuing program focus on attempting to get playoff-tough.

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“We just weren\’t ready,” Gonzalez said — what seems like eons ago — after his 2009-10 squad was blown away by Rodriguez in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs in March.

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Gonzalez watched his Devils wilt under the physical and relentless pressure brought by the Mustangs in that 62-31 loss.

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This marks the second national-focus tournament Davis players have attended since the Rodriguez game. Last summer, three Davis Hoops teams — made up predominantly of Devils

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— went to a big Las Vegas clambake. The three came home a collective 12-5.

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“Coming in, we knew we had to compete at a very high level … which we did,” DHS assistant coach and Hoops administrator George Sousa said after the Vegas outing. “I think our playoff loss was a wake-up call to us.”

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The Blue Devils, led by Bryce Thompson, Tim Mohr and Graham McDaniel, are off to a fast start — thanks to a terrific Davis defense. The locals have found themselves first-time champions of their own Les Curry Invitational and were the runner-up school in the Gold Dust (Placerville) Tournament three weeks ago.

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While Brea Olinda, at 6-5, seems a given match-up for DHS, note the Wildcats are led by Kyle Caudill\’s 24 points a game and are coming off a 61-54 loss to 10-0 Mission Viejo.

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In Davis\’ Governor\’s Division, the 16 teams have a combined 97-55 record.

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The tournament runs through Thursday. Then, after games on the road with Lodi and Dixon, the Blue Devils finally return home on Jan. 12 for the Delta Valley Conference opener against DVC newcomer Grant.

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— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or (530) 747-8047.

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