By Tarin McMorrow,
The Davis High men’s basketball team beat the Franklin Wildcats 75-67 at home on Friday, Jan. 15.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 6-3 start, but the Devils quickly caught up and led for the rest of the game.
In the second quarter, senior Tommy McTygue made a diving save, setting up sophomore Reed Hessl for a beautiful three-pointer that extended the Devils’ lead to 26-15.
The Devils led by eight both at the half and the end of the game; Davis and Franklin both scored 40 points in the final two quarters.
Senior Ryan Kreidler opened the second half with a three-pointer to immediately extend Davis’ lead. Kreidler continued his dominance in the fourth quarter, when he made a great defensive play by tipping the ball three times in a row away from the Franklin offense a minute into the period.
Head coach Dan Gonzales was pleased with his team’s win, as Franklin has always been a challenging opponent.
“[Franklin] is really strong. I don’t think they have the perimeter shooting that we have but they can drive hard to the bucket and that’s really what made the game close,” he said.
Senior point guard Kevin Austin felt good about the team’s hustle on the court.
“The energy from the crowd was there and it translated to the court with a lot of positive team communication,” said Austin, who made 13 of 14 free throws. “We were finally getting our shots, the free throwing was really important. I feel like we were a lot more confident and more aggressive on defense and it felt completely different from the other games–we never gave up.”
Gonzales agreed that the free throws were key in the win.
“We made 24 out of 27 free throws so that made a big difference and I felt like this was a game where things that haven’t been going our way all of the sudden did. [The team has] been working hard and that has been the biggest difference,” he said.
Despite a win tonight, though, the Devils still have ground to make up if they want to reach the playoffs in the rugged Delta League.
“It will be an uphill battle going towards playoffs; we have to step up and fight every game,” Hessl said.
Gonzales feels good about the team’s chances.
“This is a tough league; we’re in a little bit of a hole but there is still hope for playoffs. We’ve played two of the toughest teams already, Sheldon and Jesuit, [and] we feel pretty confident that [there] are going to be close games but that we will be able to compete,” Gonzales said.