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Devil boys set for rematch

By December 20, 2010

Enterprise staff writer

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When Davis High and Will C. Wood meet tonight in a nonleague boys basketball contest at DHS, the game has become anything but a tune-up for either squad.

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The Wildcats are coming off a 45-39 Les Curry Invitational loss to the Blue Devils in the tournament\’s championship game on Saturday.

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Well-played and close down to the wire, the matchup featured two teams that want bigger and better things. As Davis players celebrated their first-ever Curry title, all Wood probably thought about was tonight\’s rematch.

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“We already talked about that,” Devil assistant coach George Sousa said immediately after Saturday\’s game. “It\’ll be tough … they\’re a good team, well-coached.”

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DHS head coach Dan Gonzalez says tonight\’s tilt will “tell a lot about us.”

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Over the years, Wood and Davis have grown familiar with each other.

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For several years, both played in the Monticello Empire League. Then, through scheduling these nonconference games, Gonzalez and WCW coach Mark Wudel have kept in touch.

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Until Saturday, the \’Cats had won five straight and 7-of-9 in the series.

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Gonzalez on Saturday joined talented Blue Devil point guard Graham McDaniel in saying their team\’s 7-1 start is a signal of the future. Both, however, added that DHS is taking nothing for granted and has to continue to “work hard every day,” according the Les Curry MVP.

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The key for Davis has been defense. The Devils been so good on that end of the court, that it has allowed them to weather three nights in which they shot under 30 percent from the floor, and still get wins.

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And when the DHS offense is on, the opponents aren\’t sure from where the dagger will come.

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In a victory over Vanden on Thursday, Davis opened its tournament with 12 3-point shots. Tyler Sousa was the high-point man with 15 and Bryce Thompson turned out the Vikings\’ light with a

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late trey in the 59-56 win.

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Tim Mohr, a senior forward, continues to lead the Blue Devils with almost 14 points per game, but if Mohr stumbles DHS is deep and Gonzalez isn\’t afraid to go to anyone. Guards Ilanko Natajaaran and Elvis Biboka and forward Arnell Rusanganwa have already made their contributions felt off the bench in early-season wins.

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“We\’re deep. Deeper than any team I\’ve had in my 11 years here,” Gonzalez said before Davis took the Curry. “We have a lot of work to do, but these guys want it.”

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Fans will see how badly tonight. While it\’s not quite “Rocky II,” the contest should have an intensity not found in some nonleague tune-ups.

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Wood is led by juniors Andrew Brinson, P. J. Bibby and Pierce Lavallee. They\’re still learning — and with a coach like Wudel, who has made a couple of unsuccessful section title passes, Gonzalez knows the Wildcats will come to town ready for action, with adjustments made.

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Game time is 7 p.m.

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Notes: The You\’ve Come a Long Way, Baby Dept.: The Blue Devils won 11 games total in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Last year, DHS went 15-12 and made the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. This season, Davis could win 11 games before Delta Valley Conference play starts. … Another thing that makes this 7-1 start all the more interesting, the Devils aren\’t sneaking up on anybody. Last year at this time, they were under the radar. … Before stumbling at 12-15 last winter, Wudel\’s troops had gone 72-16 the previous three seasons. … After tonight, DHS gets some holiday time off, then travels to Rancho Bernardo on Monday for a meeting with Brea Olinda (6-4) of the rugged Southern California Century League. It\’s a first-round game in the ESPN/iScore Tournament. Game time is 5:25 p.m.

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— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or (530) 747-8047. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com. To view and purchase Blue Devil sports photos, visit http://davisenterprise.zenfolio.com

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