Bella Vista Broncos senior star K.J. Logue has mixed emotions when it comes to playing Fair Oaks boys basketball rival Del Campo.
The 6-foot-6 forward loves the packed gym, the raucous rooting sections and the playoff-type atmosphere.
But there's also the flip side.
"I must have played against these guys about 20 times, going back to seventh grade," Logue said after helping the No. 8 Broncos to a 64-57 Capital Valley Conference win over the No. 9 and host Cougars. "It's the battle of the Oaks. It's how it's always been. You grow up with them, so it's tough because you know it's super competitive. You're friends with them, so you know you can't lose to them."
So even on a night when the Broncos' leading scorer struggled to find his shot against Del Campo's double teams and collapsing defenses, Logue found a way to help his team win.
He played hard defensively in blocking three shots and grabbing five rebounds. He looked for open teammates rather than forcing up bad shots. And he picked the right time to apply the offensive dagger.
Logue, who averages 15.8 points, scored six of his eight points in the fourth quarter in helping the Broncos stave off several late Del Campo runs.
"My main priority is making sure my team wins," Logue said. "So if my shot is not falling - sometimes it happens but not too often - I've got to figure out other ways to help. I'll do whatever it takes."
Bella Vista isn't 16-3 and 2-0 in league being a one-man operation.
Speedy junior guard Ahmad Smith dazzled by hitting three-pointers, running bankers and quick-strike layups in traffic to finish with a game-high 21 points. Tyler Berkness added 15 points and Austin Hennen 11.
Courageous 5-9 guard Johnny Hayes, who often drove the lane and took a physical pounding from Logue, 6-6 Cristian Salhani and other Broncos, topped Del Campo (15-4, 1-1) with 17 points.
Last year at Del Campo, the Cougars rallied in the final minute for a 42-41 win, denying Bella Vista, the CAL champions, a chance to finish league unbeaten. The loss also may have cost Bella Vista a second-round home game in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. The Broncos instead had to play at Antelope, where they lost 55-46 in front of an intimidating Titans' crowd.
This time, even when Del Campo's Davit Saghateylan hit a long three-pointer to cut Bella Vista's lead to 61-57 with 1:27 to play, there was no panic.
"Last year we were up four with 40 seconds and they hit a three-pointer and a dribble drive (layup) and we lose," said Bella Vista coach Dave Gonzalez. "I thought our kids played great. We were in control most of the game. Every time they came back, we answered."