Much to the chagrin of the opposing players, the officiating crew and anyone else who had to keep up with them, the Davis High girls turned Tuesday night’s Delta Valley Conference basketball game against Laguna Creek into a track meet.
The Blue Devils pressured the Cardinals into 32 turnovers and converted the takeaways into points at a breakneck pace en route to a 78-19 romp at The Cage.
DHS’ ninth straight win pushed its record to 16-3 overall and 3-0 in DVC play.
The Devils did it by flustering Laguna Creek ball-handlers throughout the game with a relentless full-court press. The Cardinals (3-12, 0-3) threw passes out of bounds and into the hands of the locals on nearly every possession and struggled to even find a clear path out of their own backcourt. When the visitors did cross the half-court line, they had a nightmarish time trying to get shots off over the taller Davis defenders.
Meanwhile, DHS was determined to give the Cards — and the scoreboard operators — everything they could handle, finding the bucket on fastbreak after fastbreak. Thirteen different players scored points for the Blue Devils, with Emma Stenz (13), Rachael Allison (12), Katie Grahn (10) and Ashleigh Vandenbrink (10) all in double figures.
“Our defense is stifling,” Davis head coach Karen Foster said afterward. “We get the easy turnover and then we press and get our layups. And we’ve been working on finishing those (layup attempts). The girls are playing in sync and together.
“We’re not letting (opposing teams) into the paint at all. They get very few shots on us.”
Hounded by defenders like Vandenbrink (eight steals) and Tory Powell (six), the Cardinals only managed to take 41 shots — nowhere near enough to keep pace with the Devils, who put the game away early.
DHS opened the contest on a 16-0 run and stretched its lead to 53-12 before halftime. Almost all of their points came on plays where one Blue Devil ripped the ball out or intercepted a pass and then hurled the ball down the court to an open teammate for an easy layup.
The constant back peddling had Laguna Creek so burned out that even after a halftime break, the Cardinals were unable to stop a 13-0 Davis run at the start of the third period.
From there, DHS stayed on the attack, running its lead all the way up to 59 points (the final margin) before the buzzer sounded.
Outside of their double-digit scorers, the Devils also got solid nights from Powell, who had nine points, Caitlin Mazzoleni, who had eight, and a host of other players.
After cruising to the win, DHS now looks ahead to a critical game with Monterey Trail (13-6, 2-0 DVC entering Tuesday) on Friday. The Blue Devils and Mustangs are currently first and second in the conference standings.
“(Monterey Trail) is a good team,” Foster said. “I feel confident that we’re prepared. We’re ready to go. We’ve got our offense going (and) our defense is great. But it’ll be a good game.”
— Reach Will Bellamy at firstname.lastname@example.org