Davis High and 6-foot-1 forward Kory Johnson hope to overcome their tallest task of the season tonight when they host Oak Ridge to open the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 boys' basketball playoffs.
Davis (23-4) ran roughshod over the Modesto Metro Conference and has won 18 games in a row. It lost twice to Turlock (the No. 4 seed in D-1) and twice to Manteca (a D-III quarterfinalist), but it hasn't seen a team like Oak Ridge. It has seven players 6-3 or taller, led by 6-6 Trevor Bratten (11 points, eight rebounds per game) and 6-7 William Findlay (10 ppg, eight rpg). Davis doesn't have a player who is taller than 6-3.
But the Spartans do have a homecourt edge — their spacious gym can mess with the depth perception of shooters.
Three Central California Conference teams also tip off today, including No. 2 seed Merced and No. 4 Turlock at home.
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Tonight's winners go to the University of the Pacific on Tuesday for the D-1 quarterfinals.
All playoff games start at 7.
There are four Stanislaus District teams in the D-4 quarterfinals, including Modesto Christian. The Crusaders are pursuing a record 11th straight section crown and dynamic point guard Isaiah Burse is running the offense.
There were two upsets in the first round and both victors play in Modesto: No. 11 Christian Brothers at No. 3 MC and No. 13 Capital Christian at No. 4 Central Catholic.
Christian Brothers and Capital are under .500, and Christian Brothers can't match the Crusaders' depth and Capital can't match Central's size.
The division's most entertaining game could be Hilmar, coming off a 63-58 overtime win, visiting No. 2 Calaveras. The winner likely will see MC in Wednesday's semifinals at Tokay High in Lodi.
Hilmar's 6-4 Quinton McCown is among the best players in D-4, and he had 22 points and 18 rebounds in the overtime win.
Ripon Christian struggled in the Trans-Valley League, but it benefited from playing all those D-4 teams. RC's low enrollment pushed it down to D-5, where it won't see a team as good as TVL rivals MC, Escalon, Ripon or Riverbank.
The Knights have potentially the division's most dominating player in 6-8 Tyler Goslinga, who is averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds a game. They also beat top-seeded Victory Christian, 64-43, early in the season.