Battle of 'The System' is all Davis in 134-55 rout of Valley Christian

By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Brad Gunter Jr. once heard David Arseneault say two things can happen in a game involving “The System” that Arseneault fathered:

“Either you’ll break them or they’ll break you,” Gunter said.

And that’s what happened Saturday when Gunter’s Valley Christian Academy team lost to Davis 134-55 in the second game of The True North Project Common Good Classic at Antelope High School.

“That’s what I was hoping to avoid,” Gunter said.

Davis has the largest enrollment among 154 schools in the Sac-Joaquin Section with more than 2,800 students; Valley Christian is the smallest with about 2,700 fewer students. Both run “The System.”

The Blue Devils (13-7), who compete in the Division I Delta Valley Conference, were bigger and more athletic, quicker up and down the court and ferocious on the boards. Davis outrebounded Valley Christian (6-10) 41-28 and had more rebounds on offense (11) in the first half than the Lions had on defense (seven), a notable stat that was pointed out at halftime by Gary Smith, who coached “The System” at the University of Redlands and co-authored the book “Coaching The System” with Doug Porter. Smith was an assistant at Davis last season and this season has attended some Valley Christian practices and games.

The Blue Devils repeatedly beat the Lions down the court for uncontested layups and made 15 three-pointers. Kevin Sorensen, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, scored a game-high 25 points to earn Davis’ player-of-the-game honor, and senior guards Tommy Slabaugh and James Kilkenny combined for seven three-pointers and 34 points.

Davis and Valley Christian rank 1 and 3 in the state in scoring, but the Blue Devils forced the Lions into 40 turnovers, including several on inbounds passes. The Blue Devils led 34-5 after one quarter and put up 47 points in the second period for an 81-30 halftime bulge. Davis scored seven points in a 10-second span in the final minute of the half on a three-pointer and two layups off turnovers.

“Valley Christian isn’t used to this,” Smith said of the Blue Devils’ swarming full-court pressure.

While Davis has nine seniors with a year of “The System” seasoning, Valley Christian’s roster includes four sophomore and juniors who didn’t run “The System” on the JV team last season.

Beyond the final score, Gunter saw some good things.

“Our rotations. We had guys breaking into the passing lanes,” he said. “And they got a chance to play on a big stage.”

Sophomore Forest Ryan scored 12 points and was the Lions’ player of the game. Junior Hunter Fenn scored 11.

Contact Bill Poindexter at Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.




Davis (134)

Sorensen 25, Dickerson 5, Russell 8, Crook 10, Strong 7, Kilkenny 16, Bloomfield 8, Duer 7, Slabaugh 18, Hocks 5, Lampley 3, Bonetti 10, Michael 0, King 5, Schlosser 5, Davis 2. Totals 57 5-7 134.

Valley Christian (55)

Ryan 12, Shaw 7, Gunter 6, Mowry 0, Hagerty 5, Fenn 11, O’Connor 2, Milligan 3, Bowden 6, Sween 3, Berns 0, Garcia 0, Shaynyuk 0, Burbank 0. Totals 19 11-16 55.


Davis                     34   47   37   16 — 134

Valley Christian     5   25     9   16 —   55


Three-point goals — Davis 15 (Kilkenny 4, Slabaugh 3, Hicks, Schlosser, Strong, Dickerson, Duer, Lampley, Russell, King), Valley Christian 6 (Ryan 2, Milligan, Sween, Hagerty, Gunter). Total fouls — Davis 16, Valley Christian 7. Rebounds — Davis 41 (Russell 7), Valley Christian 28 (Garcia 6). Turnovers — Davis 18, Valley Christian 40.