Dayton hopes to continue tradition
DAYTON – The words “Building A Tradition” grace the t-shirts of Dayton High’s varsity basketball team.
Coach Rob Streeter has indeed built a nice tradition at the Lyon County school. The Dust Devils are coming off a 16-16 record, a third-place regional finish and a second straight trip to the 3A state tournament where they lost to eventual champion Rite of Passage.
Streeter’s 11-man squad, which includes just three seniors, opens the season tonight at 7:30 against Bishop in the first round of the 22nd annual Sutro Invitational. The Dust Devils have won four of the last five Sutro titles, and look to challenge again this year.
Senior forward Danny Hopper (4.3 points, 4.5 rebounds per game), senior forward Trent Wood (5.2, 3.6), sophomore guard Travis Wood (2.2, 1.5), junior center Josh Aaker (3.9, 3.0) and sophomore point guard Erik Hopper comprise the starting lineup.
Save for Erik Hopper, the other four players started games at various times last year, and all five starters played varsity football this season, which means they might be a bit rusty at the outset of the season. It’s an athletic group, according to Streeter.
Up from last year’s JV team are senior Daniel Schierholt and juniors Josh Nieubuurt, Shane Castro, Josh Wagner, Kenny Goff and Doug Strebel. Streeter knows at least a couple of the newcomers need to step up so he has a solid seven or eight-man rotation.
“I’m looking forward to this game,” said Streeter, whose scrimmage last week was cancelled because of the snow. “We’re not very big; not very tall. We’re not the smallest team in the league either.
“Our strength is how hard these kids play. They will be nothing less than exciting to watch. It will be a roller-coaster ride, and at the end of the year I hope we’re in the state tournament. We’ll be a little more up-tempo team than we have in the past. We have the potential to be a high-scoring team. On defense, we hope not to give up a lot of points. The more up-tempo a team plays, the more possessions a team will get.”
Streeter is concerned about his team’s depth, He’s already got a couple of kids banged up, which isn’t good when you only have 11 bodies.
Inexperience hurt the Dust Devils during the summer months.
“We took some whippings,” Streeter said. “By the end of the summer, we started to play real good basketball.”
Streeter hopes that trend continues.
WRESTLERS AIM HIGH
Third-year coach Deron Knarr guided the Dust Devils to a 14-8 dual record and an eighth-place finish at last year’s NIAA 3A State Championships.
And, with eight wrestlers that reached the state meet last season, he’s optimistic about this year’s team, which is competing in the Yerington tourney this weekend. He’s hoping that his young, yet talented team can challenge the Big 3 of Lowry, Spring Creek and Virgin Valley.
“We’re a little shallow in numbers this year, but we do have some talented returners,” Knarr said. “In general, I have one senior on the team that has wrestled before. The meat of our team is sophomores and juniors, and many have state experience.
“If we get the numbers out that we need – that shallowness may hurt us in trying to knock on the door of the top three teams in state. We’re a better tournament team this year. To create a good dual-meet team is very simple. You have to fill the weights; you have to field (complete) a team.”
Currently Dayton will leave the 103, 152 and 160 spots open. The latter two slots are usually filled with many participants on most high school teams.
Junior David Grose starts at 112. The two-time state qualifier was fourth in the state at 103s last season. At 119 is Travis Wade, a sophomore, who was fourth in state at 112s last season. Junior Chris Thompson holds down the top spot at 125, and he’s also a two-time state qualifier. A newcomer, sophomore John Walker, holds down the 130 spot in the lineup.
A trio of wrestlers – freshman Daniel Kenneston, sophomore Anthony Hynick and senior Jayce Dillie are competing at 135s. Sophomore Josh Avery, a returning state qualifier, is at 140. Senior Shawnn Ebernickel, another state qualifier, is at 145. Jeremy Stanfield, a two-time state entrant, is at 171. Stanfield was third at 160s last year. Sophomore Josh Coughlin is at 189, sophomore Robbie Bell, a returning state qualifier, is at 215 and heavyweight Sam Armstrong, a sophomore, also made state last year.
Knarr has especially high hopes for Wade and Stanfield.
“I think Stanfield has a chance (to win state),” Knarr said. “He beat Cory Ryan from Fernley and then got nipped out in the finals at state. Not only did he beat the state champ last season, but everybody in his weight class graduated.
“He’s only been wrestling two years. He’s a natural phenom. He went to camp this summer and did an entire club season. He’s in a tough weight class. I know Spring Creek and Lowry have kids there.”
ANDREASEN TAKES OVER
Shari Andreasen, the Dust Devils’ first-year coach, has her young club off to a 1-1 start this season.
Andreasen likes the athleticism and work ethic of her young team, which returns just four players – 5-11 senior forward Amanda Sbragia, 5-11 senior center Rebecca Clark, 5-7 senior guard Sabrina Cantrell and 5-6 senior guard Lauren Clark – from last year’s squad.
Soccer standout Kristel Thompson, a senior, is sharing time with Clark at point guard. Melony Cox, Bailey Garcia and Amanda Brandenburg are all juniors, and Nicole Greer, Maria Weeks and Rebecca Monzello are sophomores. Brittany Hill is the team’s lone freshman.
“They leave everything on the floor,” she said. “They work hard every day. I’d rather have a team like this that works so hard. They are going to get better because of their work ethic. We have some talent on this team, but it’s raw and underdeveloped.”
Andreasen said her biggest concern has been getting basic fundamentals in and getting ready for conference play. Because she was hired late, she didn’t have the advantage of working with the team over the summer, which is the best time to work on fundamentals and a new offense. She admits her team is a bit behind now, but she’s confident it will get up to speed quickly.
Much will depend on Sbragia, who is just as good in basketball as she is in volleyball. The 5-11 senior is a strong, physical player with a nice touch up to 15 feet.
“She has the most experience; the most game experience,” Andreasen said. “Just like in volleyball, she is a leader on the floor. She will pretty much lead the team.”
Andreasen is quick to point out that Sbragia, who has the ability to average double figures in points and rebounds, can’t do it alone. The Devils will need strong efforts from the other returners. Andreasen indicated that she’s asking Clark to be more of a scorer this year.
“She (Clark) is a huge defensive power,” Andreasen said. “Her offense is getting there. She’s getting confidence and starting to see herself as a scorer. The skill is there. She’s never been expected to score before.”
On Tuesday, Dayton beat Incline 39-22. Sbragia scored 14 points, Monzello had 10 points, Clark had five points, Cantrell had four points and Cox, Thompson and Garcia all added two points.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or 881-1281.