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Devil ballers have a full roster

By November 17, 2010

Enterprise staff writer

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When Jeff Christian showed up at The Cage a couple of weeks ago, he must have rubbed his eyes in disbelief.

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Their stood enough female basketball players to fill a complete, deep, seemingly talented roster.

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Wow. This coming after his Davis High girls — sporting eight healthy players at the end of last season — limped through an 8-19 campaign, finishing only 4-8 in a competitive Delta Valley Conference.

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While it\’s far too early in practice to tell where the Blue Devils stand for the new year, it\’s interesting to note who made the roster and how the 2010-11 schedule shakes out.

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Sporting a 16-girl roster — which includes two freshmen — Christian greets seven returning players.

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Senior twins Malika and Khaliya Wilkins are back after pacing DHS in almost every statistical category. Forwards Lisa Robison, Brooke Darrah and Lauren Blackwell also return, as do guards Sarah Sadler and Ali Campos.

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Experience from a solid junior varsity team should add much-needed firepower to an offense that struggled mightily in 2009-10.

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Junior center Ali Roberson, at 5-foot-10 the tallest Devil, should see time inside, while guards Jean Parrella and Chrysten Santos join the pack.

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Ashleigh Vandenbrink, a 5-9 sophomore forward, and Sara Sousa, a 5-8 junior forward, mean fresh legs when defense is at a premium late in games. Harper freshman Capriana Christian will also get her shot on the frontline and ninth-grader Jordan Banwarth is a keeper from Emerson. She\’ll see action at guard, along with 5-7 junior Tiffany Ho.

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And there\’s additional help for the Blue Devils, in the form of a kinder, gentler schedule.

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Not scheduled for the first time in three years is the country\’s No. 3 team, St. Mary\’s of Stockton. Gone to other leagues are perennial section contender Kennedy and always solid Valley.

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Add Rosemont, Woodland, Yuba City and the Napa Tournament to the first month of season.

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Grant (7-21 in 2009-10) replaces the Cougars (30-5 and Sac-Joaquin Section winners in two of the past three seasons). Valley (19-10) leaves for D-II pastures and the DVC gets Monterey Trail (13-14) instead.

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Whew. Everything is looking up, huh?

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DHS varsity and JV squads will conduct a four-hour scrimmage at Wood on Saturday before participating in the Nov. 27 Alumni Day, a series of girls and boys games against former Blue Devil players.

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Davis plays a Nov. 29 Foundation Game at home against Vacaville, then gets real the following night as Yuba City comes to town. The locals renew their rivalry with Woodland at the Wolves\’ den on Dec. 2.

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The Speck Tournament is conducted Dec. 9-11 before Armijo (Dec. 14), the Napa tourney (Dec. 16-18), Napa (Dec. 21) and Wood (Dec. 22) lead into the Dixon Tournament on Dec. 27-29.

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The Devils travel to Sacramento for a Jan. 6 game with St. Francis and head out to Rosemont on Jan. 8, before settling into league play with Grant on the road on Jan. 11.

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The Troubadours, Armijo, Vacaville and Napa all beat DHS last season, so the locals should get a real reading on where they stand coming into DVC play and that opener against the Pacers.

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Notes: There will be a couple DHS players who have basketball upbringing. Sara Sousa is the daughter of Blue Devil boys varsity assistant George Sousa and Capriana Christian is Lady Blue Devil mentor Jeff\’s girl. … Coach Christian will be assisted by new school history teacher Hilary Brittan, who once played at Vintage High. Brittan is an Oregon State graduate. The junior varsity gets Karen Foster as its new head coach (replacing veteran David DeLeon) and Kalcya Seabrook managing the freshman. Foster and Seabrook will be each other\’s assistants.

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— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or (530) 747-8056. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

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