Dayton explodes against VC
A word of warning to any team playing the Dayton High School boys basketball squad this season: Don’t blink while playing defense against the Dust Devils’ explosive offense, or the game will be over.
That’s the lesson Virginia City learned on Friday night in the second round of the Sutro Basketball Classic, as Dayton turned a one-point lead in the third quarter into a 10-point cushion in the span of less than two minutes en route to an easy 71-44 win.
Dayton will win the Sutro Classic tournament if it can defeat Smith Valley this afternoon on its own floor at 4:30 p.m.
The Dust Devils’ offensive outburst came midway through the third period with Dayton leading 29-28. In what seemed like just a few seconds, Dayton’s Anthony Martinez hit two 3-pointers, Josh Goss stole the ball and scored on a steal, and Adam Sayre made an easy layup to increase the Dust Devil lead to 40-30.
Virginia City would never be within striking distance again.
“We have a lot of firing power,” said Martinez, who led Dayton with 16 points. “We have players who can score from all over; when one guy’s missing, the other guys can pick it up.”
Both Martinez and Dayton coach Ric Garcia said some changes in the Dayton defensive strategy made at halftime also opened up the close game, which the Dust Devils led 27-22 at the half.
“Defensively, we opened up the game because of the full-court press,” Martinez said. “We needed to make some adjustments at halftime. Talent wise, we were the better team.”
“We talked about keeping the press going; we made some adjustments and kept running and eventually wore them down,” Garcia said.
Virginia City, which advanced to the state 1A championship last season, was led by Zac Black’s 14 points. The Muckers had a 17-14 lead after one quarter, but they were hurt by poor free throw shooting throughout the game (7-for-20) and weren’t able to keep up with the Dust Devils’ frenetic offensive pace during the second half.
“We still have a lot of holes in our game at this point,” said Virginia City coach Todd Hess. “We had definite errors on the defensive end. They did what they had to do on their home floor.”
Although Dayton returns just two players (Martinez and Sayre) from the 1998-99 squad which advanced to the state 3A tournament, Garcia likes the chemistry of this year’s team, which includes four transfer students and junior Russell Garcia, a 6-foot-6 center. The four transfers are Andy Gust from Reno High, Josh Goss and Bobby Nylen from Carson High, and Justin Caudill from Washington.
“We’ve got a lot of guys to do the scoring – it’s my job this season to see the ball get passed around,” Garcia said. “Offensively, this team has more ability to score than last year’s team, even with 10 new players. The big thing to improve on this team will be defense.”
Garcia said Manogue is the “elite ” team in Division II this season. Except for the Miners, though, Garcia believes Dayton can play with any one in the division and can compete for a state playoff berth.