There has been much debate this season about who is this area's best boys basketball player.
It may be time to toss Yuba City's Matt Hayes into the topic of conversation.
The 6-foot-2 senior guard put on an impressive all-around show tonight - including 32 points and 10 rebounds - in leading the 11th seeded Honkers to a 74-65 upset of No. 6 Del Campo in Fair Oaks.
Yuba City advances to Friday's quarterfinals at No. 3 McNair of Stockton, a 62-37 winner over Johansen.
Hayes made put-backs, layups, mid-range shots and also buried six three-pointers.
He scored 14 of Yuba City's 17 points in the fourth quarter, including an exclamation point three-pointer from above the key with 16 seconds to play for the final margin of victory.
That basket came after Del Campo had cut Yuba City's lead, once as many as 18 points early in the fourth quarter, to six, 71-65, with 57.9 seconds on a Davit Saghatelyan three-pointer.
"He's a great kid," Yuba City coach Brian Davis said. "He's an all-purpose player. He goes after the boards. He's a good passer and floor leader.
"He hasn't been getting the respect he deserves because he's tucked away in Yuba City, but once he steps on the floor, everyone knows who he is."
This season Hayes has averaged 22.5 points and 13 rebounds for a Yuba City team that is 18-9. He has 25 consecutive double doubles in points and rebounds.
Davis said recruiting interest is starting to pick up for the three-year varsity standout. UOP scouts watched him tonight.
Grades are no problem. Davis says Hayes has a 4.3 grade-point average.
"He wants to go to a college where academics and athletics go hand in hand," Davis said.
The deeper Yuba City can advance in the postseason the better exposure Hayes and his fellow Honkers will get.
Davis admitted he and his team came into tonight's game against the Cougars (22-6) with a chip on their collective shoulder.
The Honkers won the Tri-County Conference for the fifth consecutive season (though River Valley did end a 38-game league winning streak Jan. 27), yet they were a lower seed than a Del Campo team that finished second to Bella Vista in the Capital Valley Conference.
"We haven't been getting the respect I thought we deserve, and it's been coming from all around," Davis said. "We're the little school up in Yuba City. But we knew we had all the pieces."
Everything fit well tonight.
The Honkers made 13 of 24 shots from three-point range and they withstood every Del Campo challenge in the second half.
Nick Brown added 11 points and Gurpreet Singh had nine - all third-quarter three-pointers - to complement Hayes. Saghateylan and Johnny Hayes led Del Campo with 16 points each while sophomore Vasilije Saraba added 14.
"The level of basketball has really picked up in our area and not just at our school," Davis said. "We've got River Valley that's pretty good and Lindhurst over there (in Olivehurst). We have the players now and they have the work ethic. So we're pushing the level out there to try to get better seeds and better league ratings."