Three days after surviving a sloppy game to beat Will C. Wood in the Les Curry Invitational, the Davis High boys weren’t so lucky on Tuesday as the Wildcats prevailed, 98-88, in the quick-turnaround rematch.
“We wanted to be a little more patient,” Wood coach Mark Wudel said after watching his team shoot 68 percent on the night. “Teams get caught up in (the Blue Devils’ pace), and we did last game (a 79-76 DHS win). It was like ‘Hey, let’s fast break! We’re going to get a layup! Oh hey … we didn’t get there.’ ”
With the Wildcats holding the Devils to a season-low 33 attempts from 3-point range, Davis played right into Wudel’s strategy by hitting only seven of those tries. DHS shot 39 percent (33-for-83) overall.
Meanwhile, Wood was going a wicked 37-for-54 from the floor, outrebounding its host, 36-30, and taking relatively good care of the ball (only 14 turnovers).
The Blue Devils (7-4) broke on top 4-0 and led again at 13-12 when Ben Crook and Kevin Sorensen hit back-to-back, first-period baskets.
But things slipped away from there.
On the perimeter, the ’Cats were badgering the Devils and forced them into a 3-for-19 first half from beyond the arc.
A couple of sequences in which Lejon Sewell and Khalid Harrison each tallied five straight points were augmented by a handful of Davis Wade free throws to give Wood a 52-34 lead with 40 seconds left in the half.
It could have been worse, but DHS swingman Hayden Duer drilled a trey and guard Hayden Russell and center Sorensen scored late buckets (Russell’s nice drive coming off a Sorensen feed), making the deficit 54-39 at intermission.
Open in the left corner, Duer opened the third period with another 3-pointer (off a Russell dish), but it didn’t phase the Wildcats, who went on an 8-0 run, then a 5-0 spurt to take their advantage to 23 points on two different occasions.
The Blue Devils — sparked late by Russell and Sorensen — closed to within 10 points, but could get no closer as the rally was too little, too late.
Russell finished with 22 points, five assists and three rebounds. Sorensen was his school’s leading rebounder (with six) and his four, final-period baskets rounded out a 16-point performance.
Grant Dickerson was a pain for Wood on defense as his seven steals were a game high. Dickerson also had two blocked shots, three assists and five rebounds.
Sewell paced the Wildcats (5-5) with 21 points on a perfect night offensively. The guard was 5-for-5 at the charity stripe and hit all eight of his floor attempts.
Six-foot-7 Wood center Cameron Moore pulled down 11 boards, blocked two shots, helped teammates on three baskets and scored 20 (10-of-15 shooting).
“I didn’t think we had much energy for most of the game,” DHS coach Dan Gonzalez told The Enterprise. “We were clearly the better team in that fourth quarter … but we can’t wait for that to happen. It was awfully quiet at the gym.”
An estimated “crowd” of 100 attended — without cheerleaders, pep band and struggling to be heard in the cavernous North Gym.
“But give (Wood) credit,” Gonzalez continued. “They took it to us and solved our press pretty good.”
For the fourth straight game (in which Davis went 2-2), the run-and-gun Devil style has hit some potholes.
Allowing a team to hit 68 percent of its shots and getting only 33 trey attempts will get some tweaking from the DHS coaches.
“We didn’t have the rotations right,” Gonzalez added. “That’s on me. The kids are doing what we’re asking of them. We probably have to look at more film and make adjustments.
“We ended on a more positive note, if there’s anything to be taken from this game.”
Notes: Those adjustments will have to come quickly. The Blue Devils are off to Salinas to meet Everett Alvarez in the Scattini Tournament. The Eagles are 6-0. The game is at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Palma High. … Speaking of Palma, the Chieftains are 4-1 and beat Colfax, 71-24, in the Pacific Grove Invitational. Colfax won last weekend’s Les Curry tourney — beating DHS, 74-61, along the way. … Davis and Wood are frequent foes. In the past 10 seasons, the two schools have played 16 times — the Wildcats winning 11. … Wood hit 24-of-26 free throws as well on Tuesday.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.