Dust Devils off to 5-0 start
The most successful team in the Carson Valley thus far is, wait for it, Dayton High School.
The Dust Devils are off to a 5-0 start after sweeping four games to win their own Sutro Classic plus a win over Rite of Passage on Tuesday night.
Jason Santos, Dayton’s second-year head coach, has been impressed with his team’s defense which has allowed more than 40 points only twice thus far (Truckee scored 49 and Smith Valley 44).
He hasn’t, however, been impressed with the team’s free throw shooting and rebounding thus far.
“We play hard,” Santos said. “We’re giving good effort defensively. Like against Truckee, we kept battling and grinding it out.
“We don’t work hard enough at it (rebounding). It comes down to who wants the ball more. At one point against Truckee, we missed eight straight at the line. That’s pathetic. They have to find time to shoot a little bit more.”
Santos had the entire team in the gym shooting foul shots during a recent lunch period which was warranted after the 49 percent effort against Truckee.
The Dust Devils return a pretty veteran group, including starters Kage Walker, Jake Koch, Dylan Taylor, Marcus Macias and top reserve Kyle Onstott. Tim Ply also has been giving the Dust Devils some very solid play.
Walker is currently starting at point guard, but Santos would love to have him more at off guard.
“We’ll play him more at the wing when Lucas Spencer’s play comes around,” Santos said. “He is playing the point because that’s where we really need him right now. We run a motion offense, and by the time he comes back through (set) we’ve had a shot put up by then. We do some pick and roll stuff with him.”
Taylor spent some of last year on the JV team, but still led the Dust Devils in scoring, according to Santos. Ply has come on strong, both as a scorer and rebounder. Santos said he expects a lot from Koch.
“He’s both (slasher and outside shooter),” Santos said when asked how Taylor scores. “Tim is doing really well rebounding the basketball. He’s also our best free throw shooter. Jake has been doing OK. He gives us senior leadership, I’m expecting big things from him.”
There will be a familiar face walking the Virginia City sidelines this season.
Hector Bucchianeri, who guided the Muckers to a state championship in the 2004-05 season, has replaced Deny Dotson as head coach.
“I got a call from Todd (Hess, girls coach) and he said they needed a coach,” Bucchianeri said prior to the start of the annual Comstock Classic. “They offered me the job. It was kind of a slow process.
“I ran the team during the fall tournament. It’s a good bunch of kids. We are big and fast. So far so good.”
Top returnees from last year’s 19-8 team are Zach Shell, Ryan Conners, Kurt Lynch and Adam Young.
“I had Zach as a freshman,” Bucchianeri said. “He’s a great point guard. He sees the floor real well. Ryan is long (6-2) and fast. “Kurt has grown up with a ball in his hands. He’s a very strong player and a good shooter.”
Despite being a point guard, Shell can put the ball in the hole, and he’ll be expected to not only run the offense, but to score and provide leadership.
The strength of the team, according to Bucchianeri is its experience and its ability to play a high octane sort of game.
“They are smart kids and they learn quick,” Bucchianeri said. “They are the most complete team I’ve coaches. They have experience and a lot of confidence.”
It’s that same experience and confidence that is sometimes a weak spot.
“They like to play at a high pace, and things get a little wild at times,” Bucchianeri said. “We also have good size and speed. They would play that way (fast) for 32 minutes if you let them.
“Our weakness is that we probably take too many chances. Sometimes they don’t know when to pull back. If it’s not here right away, they keep trying.”
COMSTOCK CLASSIC AT VIRGINIA CITY
3 p.m. – Coleville vs. Smith Valley at Virginia City High
3 p.m. – Lund vs. Dayton, VC Middle School
6 p.m. – Wells vs. Virginia City, VCHS
6 p.m. – Battle Mountain vs. Eureka, VCMS
4: 30 p.m. – Coleville vs. North Valleys JV, VCHS
4:30 p.m. – Lund vs. Galena JV, VCMS
7:30 p.m. – Battle Mountain vs. Eureka, VCMS
7:30 p.m. – Wells vs. Virginia City, VCHS
Games at 9, 10:30, Noon, 1:30, 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
10 a.m., 11:30, 1 and 2:30 p.m.