A week off from game action often causes a great deal of grief and concern for high school basketball coaches this time of year.
The fear is dulled sharpness and drive threatening to derail a season.
That wasnt a problem with Folsom. This is a Bulldogs bunch that has a full grasp of what sort of championship fun lies ahead.
Bolting to a 10-0 lead and turning on the jets in yet another thorough team effort of passing, post play, fast breaks, shooting and superb defense, top-seeded Folsom hammered visiting St. Ignatius 66-40 in a Northern California Regional Division II second-round game Saturday night.
Folsom (30-2) stretched the Wildcats of San Francisco (23-7) on defense as eight players scored inside and out, deliberately and up-tempo, in extending its winning streak to 20. St. Ignatius came in with a strong pedigree, enough to cause legitimate anxiety, including two wins over defending Open Division champion and state powerhouse Mitty of San Jose in West Catholic Athletic League play. And the Wildcats won the Central Coast D-II Section title.
But they had no answer for Folsom, which had an opening NorCal bye after winning the Sac-Joaquin Section title seven days earlier at Sleep Train Arena.
Jordan Ford scored 17 points and had seven assists and seven rebounds in yet another stellar display of point guard play, and the smooth and clever sophomore outdid St. Ignatius heralded senior guard Trevor Dunbar. The speedy Dunbar scored eight, but he had just one field goal in 13 attempts as he warded off defenders bent on making him work for everything. All told, Dunbar was outclassed by Folsoms terrific balance.
Folsom led 34-14 at the half, and shot 58 percent for the game, delighting a full house, led by its rooting section that calls itself The Dog Pack.
Thats as dominant of a first half against a good team as weve had here, said Bulldogs coach Mike Wall, who has won three section titles since 2008 and a handful of NorCal games. When our supporting cast shoots like that, were hard to stop. And our defense gave a great effort.
Wall said the key was not letting Dunbar torch his Bulldogs for layups and jumpers, as hes done to many other teams over the years.
You can see him on YouTube, and hes almost a legend in the Bay Area, and hes really good, Wall said. But our guys, when we hit the floor, we just get going. Were hard to guard.
Folsoms Josiah Deguara scored 15 points, Colin Russell muscled inside for seven with seven rebounds, and Lukas Hendricks also worked inside for nine and seven. Alec Andrews, Jared Wall, Gavin Smith and Parker Boone all contributed for Folsom, be it passing, shooting or helping out on defense.
In a Tuesday semifinal, Folsom will host another WCAL power in Serra of San Mateo, which beat Montgomery of Santa Rosa 59-54 on Saturday.
In other D-II games:
Cosumnes Oaks 82, Leigh-San Jose 63 The No. 3-seeded Wolfpack (15-17) pulled away in the fourth quarter as five players scored in double figures to pace the schools first NorCal win. Eric Toles scored 20 points, Jaaron Stallworth 18, Alex Van Dyke and L.J. Reed 15 each and team captain Matt Muldavin had 11. The Wolfpack will host No. 7 Grant in a semifinal Tuesday.
Grant 66, Concord 58 The Pacers (27-6) won again on the road, this time taking down the No. 2 Minutemen. Grant opened NorCal play with a 65-46 win at Chico on Wednesday. Against Concord, Cameron Oliver had 21 points, and teammates Jeremee Churchill and Donovan Brown had 18 and 14, respectively, for Grant, which lost 63-62 Folsom in their section semifinal.
Florin 49, Valley Christian-San Jose 44 Frustrated, heartbroken, last-second losers in the section D-III final to Modesto Christian, the Panthers (22-10) earned a feel-good win over the Central Coast Section power. Dalayna Sampton had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Jikara Sellers had nine points for Florin.
Del Oro 53, Presentation-San Jose 52 Christa Lahmann hit a three-pointer with 2:47 left for Del Oros first lead, and a short jumper by Hannah Jordan in the closing seconds sealed a D-II road victory for the Golden Eagles (23-9). Del Oro is 2-0 in the NorCal playoffs after falling to Sacramento in a section semifinal.
Jordan had 15 points and 15 rebounds, teammate Lauren Heyn had 14 and 18.
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.