NAPA — Heading into the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s boys basketball game at Napa, Davis High coach Dan Gonzalez was looking for a spark.
And the veteran coach wasn’t surprised when it was senior Matt Michael who stepped up big in the final period, leading the Blue Devils to a 69-66 victory.
Michael scored eight of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, helping DHS erase a seven-point deficit and improve to 7-1 on the season.
“I knew he had it in him,” Gonzalez said. “He had been waiting to break out so it was nice to see him have a good game. He had energy all game and at a time when we needed someone to step up, he was there.”
The versatile 6-foot-5 forward also grabbed a team-leading six boards, and his fourth 3-pointer gave the Devils the late cushion they needed.
In the first period, the usually high-scoring locals were right on track, leading 24-16. But fatigue got to Davis after that as the Blue Devils managed just 24 points combined in the next two quarters.
“We played really hard in the tournament last weekend,” said Gonzalez, whose Devils won the Bulldog tourney that concluded Saturday in Vacaville.
“I don’t know if we were tired or what, but 11 points in a quarter and 13 points in a quarter is not what we are used to.”
But when the final buzzer sounded, DHS had hit 14 3-pointers, close to the 15 that Gonzalez calls “the magic number for us to get a win.”
“Winning these close games shows the character of this team,” Gonzalez said. “Learning from these experiences will help us later in the season.”
Senior Brandon Strong, who also had five steals and dished out three assists, was one of four locals to drain two treys each (Ben Crook, Glen Welch and Drew Gnos matched him). Strong finished with 10 points.
Brett Bloomfield added eight points and three assists, while Logan Davis grabbed five rebounds.
The rest of the Davis scoring came from Crook (seven points), Welch (six), Gnos (six), Davis (four), Ryan Kreidler (four), Ben Prussel (three), Riley Kent (three) and Cliff Tsai, who had one bucket.
The Blue Devils are back on the court Thursday when they open their own Les Curry Tournament with an 8:30 p.m. matchup against Swett. Tournament games on Thursday begin at 4 p.m.