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Blue Devil boys get the hoops ‘W’ that counts

365体育官网The Davis High bench celebrates a Joey Asta bucket Friday against Franklin. Owen Yancher/Enterprise photo

365体育官网Davis High’s boys basketball team split two games over the weekend — but it got the win in the contest that mattered most.

On Friday, it was Franklin falling to the Blue Devils in an all-important Delta League showdown in Elk Grove.

On Saturday, in the Adidas Challenge, Clovis North upended DHS, 74-59, at Sheldon High.

Franklin

ELK GROVE— Standing 6-foot-3, Joey Asta’s not the prototypical high-school post player. And when the 195-pounder lines up against some of the Delta League’s bigs with 4-to-6 vertical inches on him, fans often wonder what in the world Davis High head coach Dan Gonzalez is thinking.

365体育官网In front of a capacity crowd on what was the Wildcats’ annual Black-Out Night, Asta showed Elk Grove why he’s often called the Blue Devil rendition of Rambo.

Gut-punching his hosts for a career-high 30 points, his mammoth performance keyed the Blue Crew’s 87-84 triumph over Franklin — in the process turning in the highest-scoring outing by a Davis player since Ryan Kreidler’s 34-point outburst against Encina Prep in 2015.

“We just really wanted to win,” Asta told The Enterprise, emphasizing team over the individual. “We hadn’t won here since I’ve been playing on varsity.”

In fact, it was Davis’ first road victory at Franklin since the 2009-10 season — a playoff campaign that featured the likes of former Devil stars Austin Hershberger, Tim Mohr and Kevin Sorenson, among others.

And at 12-7 entering Friday’s contest, Franklin was no lightweight, having topped MaxPreps’ No. 3 team in the Sac-Joaquin Section, Jesuit, 70-59, on Wednesday.

“It’s a tough place to play,” Gonzalez said of the Wildcats’ deafening den. “But it’s a fun place to play. They get loud for their team and in high-school basketball that’s how it’s supposed to be.”

The win — Davis’ first in conference play — also snapped an unanticipated four-game losing skid that had Devil fans scratching their heads following the team’s smokin’-hot 11-0 season start.

But Asta was the one who had fans perplexed Friday, netting 11 of Davis’ first-period points while the locals sprang ahead, 29-19, in the opening quarter. Franklin responded with a 28-point period of its own to enter the half trailing by just four, 51-47.

365体育官网“We’ll have these minutes where we just completely lose focus,” Asta said of the periodic point swings. “That’s what’s been getting us in the last couple games.”

365体育官网After intermission, the Devils built up double-digit cushions, twice, but could never leave the Wildcats in the dust. Franklin took its lone lead of the night, 57-56, midway through the third quarter before a 3-point field goal courtesy of Isaiah Conlan (8 points) sealed the deal for DHS.

365体育官网“Moving forward we have to stay in it the whole 32 minutes,” Asta added.

Now a fixture in the starting lineup at center, CJ Fabionar netted 11 points in the win, while Cody Taylor added 9 along with four assists and three steals, Ryan Hakl had 8 points and Collin Yee scored 5. DHS shot 13 for 19 (68 percent) from the free-throw line and tied a season-high with 12 makes from beyond the 3-point line on 35 attempts (34 percent). Asta’s seven rebounds led all players, while Alan Favela (4 points) brought down six boards, and Hakl and Fabionar snagged five apiece.

Adidas Challenge

In the loss to Clovis North, the Devils were held to their quietest quarter of the season — scoring just 6 in the first period — as the Broncos got an early upper hand.

Good new in the contest? Davis’ Bryce Barker earned all-Challenge team honors.

365体育官网Ranked No. 6 in the Section by MaxPreps, the Big Blue Machine now sits at 12-5 overall and 1-3 in league.

Notes: Franklin’s Malik Johnson (24 points) and Marquis Hargrove (20) had big nights as well Friday, while Jaelon Roberts scored 15. … In other conference action, Sheldon shellacked Pleasant Grove, 76-31, and Jesuit beat Elk Grove, 60-41. … In junior varsity play Friday, Franklin topped DHS, 61-50.

— Reach Owen Yancher at [email protected] Follow him via Twitter at @530athletics.

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