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No. 13 Davis out-Systems Valley Christian at Common Good Classic

Published: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 - 12:16 am

Gary Smith felt like a proud father as he watched No. 13 Davis play Valley Christian of Roseville in Saturday's Seventh Annual Common Good Classic showcase fundraiser at Antelope High School.

Smith, now retired, developed "The System" – the up-tempo scheme he used as a longtime coach at the University of Redlands. His 2004-05 team set a national scoring record (132.4 points a game).

Valley Christian and Davis adhere to Smith's unorthodox, love-it-or-hate-it brand of basketball.

So even though Davis, the Sac-Joaquin Section's largest school, handily beat one of the section's smallest by an eye-popping 134-55 in a game that included 58 turnovers, Smith still saw a thing of beauty.

"I think it's great – I love it," Smith said of the first area meeting of teams using his full-court pressing defense, breakneck offense and five-man lineup changes every 20 to 45 seconds.

For Davis (13-7), the 134 points was a school record, even with a running clock in the fourth quarter. Kevin Sorensen led 15 Blue Devils in scoring with 25 points. Forest Ryan's 12 points topped Valley Christian (6-10).

Smith worked as an assistant to Davis coach Dan Gonzalez last season when the Blue Devils made the transition to The System and finished a respectable 14-12.

This season, Smith has helped Valley Christian coach Brad Gunter Jr. run two practices, attended several games and even addressed the Lions on Thursday after they beat Sacramento Adventist 97-53.

While Gunter had no expectations of upsetting Davis, he had hoped to be more competitive, despite the obvious differences in size and quickness between the players on the two teams.

"It might have been too big a stage and too early for us," said Gunter, also the school's athletic director and baseball coach. "But I know (the players) are grateful for the opportunity."

Gonzalez said he didn't expect a school-record scoring effort, especially after Friday's 96-91 overtime win over Monterey Trail.

"I was a little nervous because we hadn't played a team that was System-like," Gonzalez said. "I thought (Valley Christian) did fine. But we obviously have more to draw from to outfit our team."

Different reasons led Gunter and Gonzalez to make the changes to their schemes.

Gunter, whose team has been to the Division V semifinals twice in three seasons, wanted a scheme where everyone on his 15-man team can play without compromising the Lions' hopes of being a section title challenger.

Gonzalez said the Blue Devils weren't cutting it in their former methodical style. They had six losing seasons in seven years before the change.

Davis, which won its only section title in 1995, is closing in on its third postseason trip in eight seasons.

"I have fun coaching it, and the players enjoy it," Gonzalez said. "I see it as a win-win."

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