SACRAMENTO — In his third season running The System, a hyper-fast style of offense mixed with constant defensive pressure, Davis High boys basketball coach Dan Gonzalez has worked out a set of statistical goals that usually lead to a win.
The most important benchmarks are 45 or more 3-point attempts, which usually means about 15 successful treys, and 15 or more offensive rebounds.
But sometimes, like in Friday night’s 83-76 loss at Grant, one opposing star can send all of that planning out the window.
Cameron Oliver, a 6-foot-8 senior who has received offers from Oregon and San Jose State, scored 32 points to lead the Pacers (18-5, 4-1 Delta Valley Conference) past DHS (13-8, 2-3).
“The pace was the way we wanted it and a lot of our numbers were OK, but stopping Oliver was really tough for us,” said Gonzalez. “They lobbed it up to him to break our press and then got it to him a lot in their half-court offense.”
Matt Michael is the Blue Devils’ tallest player at 6-5 and 6-4 post Logan Davis is the only other big man in the DHS rotation.
Considering an injury to senior Ben Crook, who is day-to-day because of a hurt knee, and that height disadvantage, the local performance looks pretty admirable. Davis battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit (44-35) to take a brief 64-62 lead after scoring the first five points of the fourth period.
“The effort was there,” Gonzalez said. “This was a road game so for us to be able to (come that close) is a good thing. Having Crook would have been big, too, he averages 6 to 10 points a game for us.
“If we can do what we did (Friday) against the other teams in our league, we will be all right.”
The key numbers from Friday read like a victory as the Blue Devils made 15-of-54 from beyond the arc and grabbed 19 offensive boards. Davis was responsible for six offensive rebounds himself.
Brandon Strong led the locals with 16 points, Ryan Kreidler added 11, while Michael and Brett Bloomfield canned 10 apiece. Drew Gnos had three steals to go with his four points, and earned praise from Gonzalez.
“Drew Gnos gave us a really good effort,” the coach said. “With Crook out, he had to put in more shifts than he normally does and he handled that really well.”