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Devil girls\’ revamped roster is strong in loss

By December 31, 2010

Enterprise correspondent

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DIXON — Some might call it the end of an era …

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When Davis High girls basketball fans showed up to the third-place game of the Ram Jam Invitational at Dixon High on Thursday, some were surprised at the absence of long-time varsity players, senior twins Malika and Khaliya Wilkins.

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Coach Jeff Christian said the pair had been dismissed from the Lady Blue Devils after a team meeting conducted subsequent to a last-minute loss on Tuesday to Inderkum. Christian

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said the cause was “conduct detrimental to the team.”

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The Enterprise unsuccessfully tried to reach the Wilkins Family for comment.

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In Thursday\’s meeting with Will C. Wood — a school DHS beat twice earlier this month — the revamped Devil lineup gave it a shot before falling, 45-37, to the Wildcats.

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The Devils, now 9-5, settled for fourth place at the Ram Jam.

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Davis\’ pressure defense seemed to remain it\’s greatest asset, holding the Wildcats (8-6) to just eight first-quarter points.

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While the Blue Devils struggled in the second quarter — which ended with Wood holding a 22-11 advantage at halftime — there was a glimpse of what the next few seasons may hold.

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Sophomore Ali Campos, in her second season of varsity ball, rallied DHS by instructing teammates to forget about subpar plays and keep their cool. Campos, who finished with six points, four rebounds and seven steals, was the lone Blue Devil named to the all-tournament team.

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Davis came out re-energized after some halftime encouragement from Christian, but Wildcats Britney Zine and Jennifer Yatabe had found their rhythm …

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Yatabe began intercepting Devil passes and dishing them out to Zine.

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Despite trailing 37-26 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, DHS refused to give in, something Christian recognized:

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“The kids played with great character … and that\’s something we\’ve been working on. We\’re going to keep working on that the rest of the season.”

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Thanks to a fourth-quarter rally spurred by Campos and Ashleigh Vandenbrink, the Blue Devils ended up outscoring Wood in the second half, 26-23, tightening the final margin.

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DHS was able to keep up with the \’Cats for most of the game, thanks to its work on the boards.

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Sarah Sadler, who scored six points, led the team with 10 rebounds, and had the bruises to show for it.

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“She\’s vital, vital to the team,” Christian commented as he observed Sadler icing herself after the game. “When a kid sacrifices (her body) for the team, you can\’t ask for anything more.”

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Sophomore Vandenbrink continued her steady development, as she led the Blue Devils with 10 points, adding nine rebounds and five steals.

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Freshman Capriana Christian knocked down two 3-point shots in the second half and finished with eight rebounds and five steals.

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Sarah Sousa canned both a two-point field goal and a trey, while Tori Powell hit two free throws and a jumper to round out the DHS scoring.

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“Awesome effort (Thursday),” Christian added. “I can\’t ask for anything more. They did an outstanding job, (and) I\’m proud to be their coach.”

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Davis now looks to move on. On Thursday, it travels to Sacramento to meet St. Francis and, after that, it\’s Rosemont on the road on Saturday.

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Notes: DHS defeated Benicia, 56-40, in the first game of the Ram Jam before losing 48-45 to Inderkum on Tuesday, a game which Christian called “the turning point for our season.” … Zine, an all-tournament selection, finished with 17 points and six rebounds on Thursday despite playing with a protective bandage on her left hand. Yatabe scored 11 points and led Wood with four steals. … The Blue Devils held Reana Hardin, averaging 16.4 points and four steals a game, to 11 and one, respectively.

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— Reach Benjy Egel at [email protected] To view and purchase Blue Devil sports photos, visit http://davisenterprise.zenfolio.com

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Benjy Egel

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