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DHS boys can\’t duplicate their title-game win

By December 21, 2010

Enterprise staff writer

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Turnabout is fair play, although nobody said the Davis High boys basketball team had to like it.

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Coming out flat, the Blue Devils dropped a 45-39 decision on Tuesday to Will C. Wood.

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It was the Wildcats that DHS beat just three days ago to win their own Les Curry Invitational. The score? 45-39.

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“Definitely. We came out flat,” Davis head coach Dan Gonzalez said after watching his guys suffer through another dismal shooting night: this time 26 percent on 13-of-50 from the field.

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Gonzalez acknowledged that his charges couldn\’t survive the season on defense alone and said “finishing our shots will be something we\’ll continue to work on.”

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He added that the Devils have a couple more practices before they travels next week for a Monday game against Brea Olinda in the ESPN/iScore Tournament at Rancho Bernardo.

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“We\’ll work on (shooting) and just getting ready for a very tough tournament,” promised the 11th-year mentor.

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Gonzalez and his coaching staff knew as early as Saturday night that tonight\’s nonleague meeting wouldn\’t be easy. Assistant coach George Sousa said the players were welcome to “celebrate their (tournament win Saturday and Sunday), but you know (Wood) will be thinking about nothing but Tuesday (night\’s game).”

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Wildcats head coach Mark Wudel said before the game that his team “will be hungry tonight” and expected them to come out “focused, strong.” He was right.

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After Curry MVP Graham McDaniel opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, Wood\’s Andrew Brinston started a run that saw the \’Cats pull ahead 12-4 before Ilanko Nataraajan scored just before the first period ended.

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With DHS\’ leading scorer Tim Mohr on the bench with two quick fouls, Wood took further advantage thanks to buckets from Brinston and Pierce Lavallee.

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Davis made a little noise when Bryan Hensley and Bryce Thompson hit treys, but a botched defensive rebound resulted in a Wood basket at the halftime buzzer, thanks to David Miller\’s putback.

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Trailing by 13 points only 20 seconds into the third period, Mohr\’s 3-point bucket and three straight points from Thompson brought the locals to within seven at 26-19.

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Later in the quarter, Nataraajan\’s volleyball-style, two-hand bat-in (and resulting free throw) got the Blue Devils to within six, but with Mohr picking up his third foul and sitting, a triple by Lavallee and basket from P. J. Bibby gave the Wildcats a comfortable 36-25 margin heading into the final eight minutes.

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In a pedestrian effort, DHS committed only 10 turnovers, but there wasn\’t much spark as in past performances. Neither team went extensively to any fullcourt pressure — even the Devils when they trailed by double digits in the third period.

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Both teams remained deliberate throughout with Wood\’s 17-for-38 shooting providing the advantage.

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Thompson\’s 16 points were a game high with McDaniel adding seven and Tyler Sousa and Mohr accounting for four each. Davis\’ 39 points equaled a season low (the Blue Devils beat Nevada Union last Friday, 39-38).

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Both schools now stand at 7-2 on the young season.

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Brinston led Wood with 13 points and Lavallee added 11. Bibby had nine points.

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Notes: In heading to San Diego next week, DHS meets Brea Olinda (6-4) on Monday. Playing in the Governor\’s Division of the 64-team ESPN/iScore Tournament, the Blue Devils play their first-round game at 5:25 p.m. and will get games through Dec. 30. .. Jalil Anibaba, home for the holidays, was in attendance Tuesday. The 2007 Davis High graduate — who played basketball and soccer for the Blue Devils — just finished his senior season playing soccer at North Carolina. His Tar Heels made it to the final four of the College Cup last weekend before falling to Louisville in Santa Barbara. Anibaba is expected by most experts to be a Major League Soccer draft choice in a couple of months. … Brandon Strong had 11 points and Harrison Allen-Sutter added 10 as the DHS junior varsity won, 57-37.

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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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