OAKLAND — After Turlock High found out on Sunday that its first-round regional playoff game would be against Castlemont, the Bulldogs had exactly one practice session to prepare a game plan based on whatever scouting report they could muster.
So Turlock worked Monday on its zone defenses, expecting the usual from tall, athletic teams — an attack based on penetration and power.
On Tuesday, it took a very short time to realize not only that the scouting report was only half-right, but that the Bulldogs weren't physically able to do much about stopping the Knights — the champions of the Oakland Section.
Yes, the Knights were tall, long and athletic. That part was true. But instead of slashing and pounding the ball inside, which Castlemont has done all year, the Knights opened with a deadly outside attack and never stopped firing.
They finished with 10 3-pointers — including five from junior guard Devareaux Marley — and rolled to a 77-53 victory over Turlock in the opening round of the Northern California Division 1 playoffs at Oakland Tech's girls' gym.
"We thought they would pound the ball inside to their 6-8 guy and other guys at 6-5 and 6-6," said senior guard Travis Souza, who capped his high school career with a 20-point game.
"But Devareaux was knocking down a lot of shots. We'd rather have people try to shoot over us than get the ball inside, but they made their shots. More power to them if they're making those kinds of shots."
Castlemont (16-13) will be taking its new-found offensive balance into the second round, where they will go on the road to face No. 3 seed Newark Memorial on Thursday.
"I knew they had a couple of guys who could shoot, but not that well," said coach Doug Cornfoot. "When we've played athletic teams in the past, you just suck it in, let them shoot over you and box out the best you can on the boards.
"But when we face a team this athletic that also can shoot from the outside, we just can't match up. There's no way."
The end to the Bulldogs' 24-7 season came swiftly. Souza scored on a steal and hit the first of his four 3-pointers to give Turlock a 10-6 lead with 4 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first quarter.
Castlemont looked confused at that point, but it would be the only time in the game it would not be in control.
Castlemont was bolstered for the playoffs when junior forward Gary Williams transferred from rival McClymonds — a transfer allowed based on a claimed late-season change of address. Williams scored only six points, while Devareaux had 17. John Green a 6-4 senior, took control in the second half and finished with 27 points.
Anthony Hubbard finished with 16 points and Eric Wetzel had 13 for Turlock, but the rest of the team contributed only four points.
"It's a disappointing way for Travis and Eric to go out," Cornfoot said. "But at the beginning of the year our goal was to get to Arco since it had been a long time since a Turlock team got there. This was just icing on the cake ... just not a very nice-tasting icing."
Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2300.