It was a character builder for the Dayton High boys basketball team without its leading scorer after the Dust Devils let a late lead slip away.
But Dayton was still able to win the title of its Sutro Classic, by coming back after falling behind in overtime for a 52-49 win over North Tahoe on Saturday. The Dust Devils had to do it without their leading scorer, Trent Wood, who suffered a sprained ankle earlier in the day against Whittell.
"That's a definite positive. We were able to get a win without our leading scorer," Dayton coach Rob Streeter said.
Dayton led by four late in the game, but allowed North Tahoe to come back to force a 43-43 tie and overtime. North Tahoe went on to take a two-point lead, but Shane Castro made a steal and Josh Aaker was fouled. Aaker made both foul shots to tie the game.
Castro was then fouled on a drive to the basket and made 1-of-2 foul shots to give Dayton a one point lead. Danny Hopper then made 2-of-2 foul shots to put the Dust Devils up by three, giving them a lead they would never relinquish.
Hopper hit 6-of-6 foul shots on his way to scoring 12 points and being named the tournament Most Valuable Player. Trent and Travis Wood and Aaker also made the all-tournament team.
Against North Tahoe, Erik Hopper scored four of his eight points in overtime and Travis Wood addedd nine points. Castro led Dayton (4-0) with 16 points.
DAYTON 82, WHITTELL 42
This time, the Devils didn't wait until the second half to put their opponent away.
Dayton, thanks to the sharpshooting of Travis Wood (29 points) outscored Whittell 18-3 in the final 3:39 of the second quarter to take a commanding 18-point lead against the outmanned Warriors, who lost coach Dennis Young with 2:06 left in the first half after he was whistled for his second foul of the game.
Wood had nine of his 16 second-quarter points in the last 3 1/2 minutes of the first half.
"We had an ugly start," Dayton coach Rob Streeter said. "We went to a half-court press and got some life again. We got a little more active and started to separate ourselves."
Streeter said Young's ejection definitely had a negative effect on the Warriors. Dayton led just 32-22 when Young was banished. Dayton ended the half with a 9-1 run.
"They seemed to be totally out of sync; totally out of rhythm," Streeter said. "I don't think I've ever seen a game where there were five or six technicals."
And, all of them were called on Whittell.
Wood knocked down five three-pointers and nine field goals in all. It was a good thing that he stepped up because his older brother, Trent, scored just six points before suffering an injury in the third quarter.
"I talked to Travis before the game and told him that he could expect to get some good looks," Streeter said. "He's probably our best pure shooter. I told him to get yourself set and get your hands ready. He did a nice job."
Dayton also got 13 points from Shane Castro, all but one in the second half.