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Russell’s big quarter puts Devil boys back on track, 86-68

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From page B1 | December 09, 2012 |

DHS guard Hayden Russell puts up a shot in an early-season contest against Vacaville. When the two teams matched up on Saturday, Russell had 16 of his 22 points in the final period of the Blue Devils' 86-68 win. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise file photo

VACAVILLE — Now it’s official.

After topping Vacaville on Nov. 26 in a “practice” game, Davis High’s boys lowered a fourth-quarter boom on the Bulldogs on Saturday in a basketball outing that actually counts.

Running its record to 5-2, the Blue Devils managed an 86-68 victory over the host school, good for third place in the Honk Williams Tournament.

While DHS sputtered through the first three periods, local guard Hayden Russell took over by scoring 16 of his game-high 22 points in a 31-18 outburst in that last stanza.

Sure, the Devils led throughout, but Vacaville (2-4) seems to have found a way to slow the warp-speed Davis offense.

In the CIF Foundation Game — that outing that didn’t count last month — the Blue Devils managed a 69-63 win. But since, DHS is putting up an average of 93 points a night. A 13-point third-period on Saturday had DHS head coach Dan Gonzalez scratching his head.

“Looking at that third period, we talked about it in the locker room,” Gonzalez reported. “We still have some things to clean up, but don’t get me wrong — it’s not bad.”

The Blue Devils had just come off of a 102-92 setback to Armijo (6-0) on Friday in which Davis went 10-for-54 on its 3-point tries.

Gonzalez admitted his troops “started slow” Saturday — leading 41-25 at intermission is slow for this team. And that third quarter? He said it was unexpected.

But this Devil team has what could be called its Big Three — Russell, Grant Dickerson and Kevin Sorensen.

“Those really are the key guys now,” Gonzalez said, confirming that when the chips are down, the Three Amigos see extended playing time.

Such was the case against the Bulldogs as Sorensen added 14 points and Dickerson had 11. Both Russell and Dickerson grabbed seven rebounds as DHS hammered the offensive boards, finishing with a season-high 28.

Guard Tommy Slabaugh was back on his game with 10 points as the rest of the roster shared in the remaining scoring: James Kilkenny (four); C.K. Hicks (three); Ben Crook (three); Brandon Strong (five); Logan Davis (one); Brett Bloomfield (three); Hayden Duer (three); Austin Lampley (three); and Matt Michael (four).

Beginning Thursday, Davis will host the Les Curry Invitational, meeting Colfax in the opening round. The game is the next-to-last contest of the night, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Notes: In Friday’s loss to Armijo, the Blue Devils squandered a 52-46 halftime lead. But Gonzalez points out that when you hit less than 20 percent of your trey attempts — and you launch 54 of them — you can get behind the 8-ball quickly. Nonetheless, the scoring remained impressive as Russell poured in 18, Strong had 13, Dickerson canned 12 and Bloomfield went for 11). 

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

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