Del Campo's boys basketball team is every bit a throwback.
The Cougars are a bunch of no-names from the neighborhood who are playing so well these days that 10-year coach Dave Nobis admits to feeling rejuvenated.
No. 10 Del Campo is 15-3 after breaking open a tight game in the fourth quarter and beating defending Sierra Foothill League co-champion and No. 15 Granite Bay 61-49 in today's Common Good Classic at Antelope High School.
"These aren't AAU-prized kids," Nobis said. "These are just kids who showed up on campus as freshmen and said, 'Hey, we want to get better.' I'm really enjoying myself. I don't have to motivate them to want to play hard, it's just in their DNA."
Although the Cougars graduated four starters from last season's 21-8 team, Del Campo has won the Folsom and Kendall Arnett tournament championships and lost in the finals of the Mesa Verde tourney to Capital Valley Conference rival Bella Vista, ranked No. 9.
Senior co-captain Johnny Hayes was all-tournament in all three and was named Del Campo's Player of the Game against Granite Bay after the 5-foot-9 point guard orchestrated his team's comeback from a 41-39 deficit by scoring seven consecutive points to open the fourth quarter.
"He goes hard all the time, doesn't say anything negative about anyone, never makes excuses and doesn't care who gets the credit," Nobis said. "Like a lot of our guys, Johnny has made big improvements. His confidence is way up from last year."
Hayes finished with 12 points and is averaging nearly 10 a game, but it's his hardnosed floor leadership that Nobis says is his strength.
"I knew that if I just kept working hard I'd get my chance," Hayes said. "I love playing with these guys. We've glued. We work hard in practice and we work hard in the weight room, which I think encourages us to play stronger than it actually makes us stronger."
Junior Semir Cahtarevic led Del Campo with 14 points and nine rebounds and senior Jody Hyde added 12 points. Jerry Hansen topped Granite Bay (9-9) with 14 points and Grizzlies Player of the Game Jacob King added 13.
Del Campo plays host to Bella Vista on Wednesday, so beating an established Sierra Foothill League power like Granite Bay boosts the Cougars' confidence, not only for the Broncos but for their goal of reaching the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II finals at Power Balance Arena.
The SFL, along with the Delta River League, has been considered one of the area's best in boys basketball in recent seasons.
"The Delta River stands alone right now," Nobis said of the league that includes No. 1 Jesuit, No. 2 Sheldon and No. 3 Pleasant Grove. "But I think we're right up there with the SFL. We've had some tough wins against those teams (defending co-champion Woodcreek, Roseville and Nevada Union)."
In Saturday's other Common Good games:
No. 2 Oak Ridge 52, No. 11 Del Oro 32 (girls) - Sophomore Jenn Hoffman made seven three-pointers to finish with a game-high 21 points and Jenna Klein added 13 points as the Trojans (13-5) topped the Golden Eagles (9-8).
No. 12 Oak Ridge 57, No. 16 Del Oro 46 (boys) - Scott Sanchez tallied 18 points and Matt Howard added 16 as the Trojans (12-7) made it a sweep over the the Golden Eagles (11-7).
No. 17 Capital Christian 59, Nevada Union 47 (boys) - Matt Donlan scored 18 points and Marcelas Perry and Trey Belton had 11 each as the Division V Cougars (13-4) defeated the D-I Miners (10-8).
Berkeley 61, Lincoln-Stockton 44 (girls) - Disire Finnie had 16 points and Rachael Howard 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the defending CIF Northern California D-I champion Yellowjackets (12-1) past the Trojans (12-2).