When is win No. 16, actually No. 15? And how in the heck does anyone really know when they’ve made the CIF boys basketball playoffs?
Given Davis High’s precarious perch in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s just-released power rankings (13th) — and the news that nonleague games after Jan. 8 don’t count in those all-important ratings — the Blue Devils know their best formula for a playoff berth will be winning Wednesday night.
That’s when cellar-dwelling Monterey Trail comes to town for a crucial Delta Valley Conference meeting with the Blue Devils (15-9, 5-3). It appears if DHS wins, it’s in …
CIF-SJS Media Relations Director Will DeBoard explains:
“We do not count nonleague games like the Common Good (in which DHS pummeled Valley Christian, 134-55) in the power ratings. (Davis) would say their record is 15-9 while we would say 14-9. The record we post isn’t always the correct record on the year; instead, it’s the record we use to determine their power rating.”
So, according to CIF rankings, Davis’ record-setting Common Good win on Jan. 19 — on paper — never happened.
What does this all mean to the Devils, who are in a three-way tie for second behind Grant in the topsy-turvy DVC?
“If you are in the top 16 (rankings come Feb. 13), you are in the playoffs regardless of what else happens,” DeBoard continued. “We take those top 16 teams, then we look below the top 16 for any league champions and any teams with 15 or more wins and they are added to the field. However many teams are added beyond 16, that is the number of play-in games.
“In D1 boys, it looks like two teams may have 15 wins, but are out of the top 16 — West and Chavez. So if that goes final, then West would play the 16 seed in a play-in and Chavez would be at the No. 15.”
In CIF’s eyes, a win over Monterey Trail would be Davis’ 15th. It’s a magic (if not mystic) number for inclusion in the postseason.
On Senior Night Wednesday at DHS, nine 12th-graders — Daniel Bonetti, Grant Dickerson, Hayden Duer, James Kilkenny, Adam King, Hayden Russell, Mikie Schlosser, Tommy Slabaugh and Kevin Sorensen — and their families will be honored in pre-game ceremonies in which fans will get a chance to say thanks for a whirlwind season that has been entertaining and dramatic.
The ceremony starts at 6:45 p.m. with game time shortly thereafter.
The contest comes after 1,266 fans set a new Davis attendance record last Friday while watching the Blue Devils give new life to their playoff hopes by beating Laguna Creek, 86-80.
“Another big crowd would definitely translate into team energy,” says DHS coach Dan Gonzalez. “There is no doubt having a big crowd gets everyone excited and provides that extra boost to perform at a very competitive level.
“Friday’s crowd did provide the energy for the team and they truly appreciated the awesome attendance by the supportive fans.”
Gonzalez says his charges know Monterey Trail is not to be scoffed at, especially after the Devils escaped the Mustangs’ home court with a 96-91 overtime win Jan. 18.
“By now the players are well aware of our playoff situation and how no team can be taken lightly,” adds the 15th-year coaching veteran. “In looking at Monterey Trail games, its record does not reflect how competitive and rough they are to play against.”
The Mustangs almost got Grant (18-7, 6-2) on Jan. 25 before losing 49-46. They’ve lost four other games by five points or less.
Notes: Gonzalez is taking it slow with Dickerson, who heard a sound in his knee and played less than a minute on Friday. … Grant gets Laguna Creek (14-11, 5-3) at home on Wednesday while Franklin plays at Elk Grove (13-12, 3-5). If Davis wins out, and the Cardinals get the Pacers (they beat Grant 67-66 last time), a likely three-way tie will occur — DHS, Laguna Creek and Grant all 7-3 in DVC play.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.