ELK GROVE — The Davis High boys got a reminder on Wednesday: There’s nonleague hoops — where the Blue Devils averaged 90.4 points a game to go 9-6 — and then there’s Delta Valley Conference basketball.
DHS’ high-scoring attack was held 28 points below its average in its DVC opener at Elk Grove, but made every one count in a 62-56 victory over the Thundering Herd.
With the hosts knowing exactly what to expect from the Devils, the first quarter featured a slow pace, and ended with EGHS ahead 17-8.
“They came out strong. I knew they were going to try to throw off our pace and they did a good job of controlling the tempo,” Davis coach Dan Gonzalez told The Enterprise. “When we trapped, they didn’t even try to score, they were happy just taking time off the clock. It just seemed like we didn’t get a lot of shots off in that first quarter.”
But just as the Herd was prepared for the Blue Devils, Gonzalez and Company were ready with the correct adjustments. A slight tweak to the timing of their traps, had the locals playing Devil basketball in winning the second period, 20-6. In fact, after coughing up that first quarter hairball, DHS scored 42 points over the next two and turned a nine-point deficit into a 50-46 lead by the start of the fourth.
“At the end of the first half and in the second half, we started to cause a lot of turnovers and that helped our offense,” Gonzalez said.
It also helped that Grant Dickerson was a beast inside, pouring in 17 points to match his second-highest total of the season. And even though leading scorer Hayden Russell had just 10 points, he tallied eight of those in the third period to carry DHS.
Kevin Sorensen added nine points, while Brandon Strong had eight for the Blue Devils, who improved to 10-6 overall with their first DVC win.
Elk Grove (10-7, 0-1) was paced by Hasani Reese’s 11 points and got just 10 from Danny Goldman, a sharpshooter that Gonzalez said his guys did a good job defending.
“As a team, we learned a good lesson. Elk Grove is a tough place to play but we found a way to get it done,” Gonzalez said. “It’s tough because we know that a lot of teams are going to try to (slow us down), but we are going to keep playing our game. (Wednesday) was typical Delta Valley Conference play, teams are looking at a lot of film and trying to take you out of your game.”
Tommy Slabaugh’s five points, Matt Michael’s three and two apiece from C.K. Hicks, Ben Crook, Hayden Duer, Logan Davis and Dan Bonetti completed the scoring for Davis, which will be at home against Grant on Friday at 7 p.m.