YOLO COUNTY NEWS
DHS' Emma Stenz and Maya Tarasenko get pumped up at a recent home game. The Lady Blue Devils will host Napa on Tuesday in the first round of the section playoffs. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

Sports

Devil Nation heads to playoffs: girls home, boys hit the road

By From page B1 | February 14, 2013

Devil Nation will be loaded with playoff basketball next week as the Davis High girls get a home game Tuesday with Napa while the boys travel to Lincoln (Stockton) on Wednesday.

The sixth-seeded Delta Valley Conference champion Lady Blue Devils (22-4) will host No. 11 Napa (16-11), the Monticello Empire League’s runner-up.

On the road the following day, the DHS boys (16-10) — seeded 11th — get the San Joaquin Athletic Association’s second-place school. The Trojans finished the regular season at 21-6.

“Frankly, I don’t know much about them yet,” Davis boys coach Dan Gonzalez said after studying the seedings Wednesday. “I do know they’ve beaten some good teams and were No. 2 in a tough, tough league.”

The DHS girls get their second first-round playoff home game in three years. In 2011, the Devils lost to Pleasant Grove, 65-51.

“We were figuring we’d get Napa or St. Francis,” said Lady Devil coach Karen Foster. “We’re prepared, ready to go.”

The boys were last in the postseason in 2010 — getting bounced, 62-31, at Rodriguez.

That was during a 15-12 campaign in which Davis presented a methodical offense that had little juice to catch up from large deficits.

This year, the Blue Devils are averaging 88 points a game and actually moved up to an 11th seed after going 1-1 in the final week. On Feb. 4, DHS was ranked No. 13.

Gonzalez says the weeklong break from competition is serving his team well and that the Devils are “returning to the basics” of their high-octane offense.

The 15-year coach, who will be making his third postseason appearance, liked the way his team played in the middle of the season and acknowledged his guys were “a little up-and-down down the stretch.”

But Gonzalez — after his team set school single-game scoring marks on three separate occasions — knows his guys have the offense to make a splash.

Lincoln, which is carried by 6-foot-8 center LeAndre Rhoden and 6-5 guard Nick Schutlze, has beaten six squads this winter that qualified for the postseason.

Interestingly, LHS lost to DVC also-ran Elk Grove — a team Davis stopped twice this year. The Trojans beat Laguna Creek, 69-60, a team with which the Blue Devils split a pair.

On the girls’ side, DHS and Napa are no strangers.

Since 2004, the two schools have split 16 games. In ’06, the Indians knocked Davis out of the playoffs with a 52-39 decision.

The Devils have won three of the last four meetings.

“We’re not going to change a thing,” Foster said, happy with the style of play that got her team a 9-1 DVC championship.

“We need to be more physical. Cut down our turnovers. Not allow that second shot (for our) opponents.But we are confident in the way we play.”

Notes: There are a handful of Friday play-in games in both Division I brackets. Among the boys, No. 7 Franklin (second in the DVC at 7-3, 13-12 overall) plays Turlock. Sheldon (21-5) is the No. 1 seed. DVC boys champion Grant (20-7) is the D-II No. 4 seed and awaits its opponent from the winner of the Johansen/Cordova out-bracket game. No. 10 seed Laguna Creek (15-12)  — which tied Davis for third at 6-4 in league — plays Rocklin. … On the girls’ side, St. Mary’s (25-2) is the top dog. Monterey Trail (18-8, 8-2 in the Delta Valley Conference) plays Armijo. No. 9 Grant, in D-II, plays Buhach Colony.

Bruce Gallaudet

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