JOSÉ LUIS VILLEGAS / jvillegas@sacbee.com

Senior Eric Stuteville, left, stands 6-foot-10 and averages 21.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. His "little" brother, junior Mason, is 6-9 and averages 17.3 points and 11.7 rebounds. They will lead Casa Roble against Sierra of Manteca tonight.

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Stuteville brothers lead way for Casa Roble

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 6:33 pm

Kris Davenport doesn't use a hand basket when she grocery shops for her growing sons.

It practically takes a flatbed truck of meat, poultry, breads and other goods to sustain 6-foot-10 Eric Stuteville and 6-9 Mason Stuteville, who is closing fast. The brothers don't snack; they feed. And the more they take in, the more energy they have as basketball players and honors students for Casa Roble High School in Orangevale.

"We tell her all the time, 'We're running out of food, Mom!' " said Eric, a senior, with his brother, a junior, nodding in agreement.

"I usually buy four or five gallons of milk a week," Davenport said, "and I don't buy eggs by the dozen anymore. I get them by the flat – 60 or so."

In hightops, the brothers have an equally ravenous appetite.

Eric, headed to Sacramento State on scholarship, is averaging 21.7 points and 12.3 rebounds for the Rams, who play Sierra of Manteca tonight at Cosumnes River College in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal. Mason, with an expanding national recruiting profile to match his soaring frame, averages 17.3 points and 11.7 rebounds.

The brothers usually don't go up against each other, at least not in the team's practices, for fear of a wayward elbow to the face. Both are defensive tyrants, clogging the lane, blocking shots and altering others. They're also skilled big men who can score on post moves, jumpers and runners.

"We realized that you have to have a skill set, no matter how big you are," Eric said.

Added Mason: "It's really important to be a complete player. You have to have an outside shot to go with the inside game, and you have to be able to handle the ball."

The brothers grew up with basketball.

Mom muscled in for rebounds at Cal in the late 1970s. Father Shannon played in Mississippi. Kris' brother, Andy Franklin, was a 6-8 post player for Shasta High in the early 1980s who also played at Pacific.

Eric was 9.6 pounds and 22 inches long at birth. Mason, a year younger and a month premature, was 8.6 pounds and 20 inches.

"If he aged a bit," Kris said, a groan in her voice, "he would've been every bit as big as his brother."

And the growth continues. Every few months, it's time to look for new pants and bigger shoes.

And the competition never seems to end.

"We play until we start arguing," Mason said with a laugh. "We've been hard on each other but good for each other."

Said Kris: "Oh, they're brutal. If they do go against each other in practice, or they go out and play, someone's coming home with a bruise or cut or laceration, a split lip. It's a never-ending battle to see who is the better player. One day, it's one brother, then the next, it's the other."

The brothers also have grown up in an academic environment. Kris, who earned advanced degrees at Sac State, is a physical therapist.

That field intrigues both brothers, with Mason explaining, "It's studying the body, how it works, what muscles and bones do what."

Eric is equally interested in the field.

"(Eric will) call me and say, 'Hey coach, did you know there are like 30,000 blood vessels within a square inch of skin?' " said Sac State coach Brian Katz. "As a player, he's special. He's the biggest sleeper on the West Coast."

Eric said he enjoys talking about science and math just as much as basketball.

"At Casa Roble, you need a 2.0 grade-point average to play basketball," Eric said. "With Mom, we need a 3.0 to play. We learned that a long time ago. Moms are moms like that."

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