The Davis High girls basketball team needed less than three minutes on Thursday to dash any hopes Granite Bay had of getting a win.
The Lady Blue Devils used a lightning-quick offensive outburst in the first quarter to take control, then held on to defeat the Grizzlies, 77-56, in the final outing of the opening day of the Dorothy Speck Memorial tournament at The Cage.
DHS’ Emma Stenz won the opening tip-off, and opened up the floodgates by draining a 3-pointer. Katie Grahn hit a long two on the next possession, which was followed soon after by Rachael Allison connecting from downtown.
After what seemed like a blink of an eye, the Devils were up 8-0, and still weren’t finished. Junior Caitlin Mazzoleni scored on a second effort, and Allison hit another jumper to extend the Davis lead to 12-0.
The Grizzlies finally scored their first points 2:45 into the first quarter, when Kylie Snyder made two free throws, but GBHS would go on to score only eight points the rest of the period.
While the Grizzlies struggled to hit their shots (they finished 2-11 from the floor in the quarter), the Blue Devils couldn’t miss. DHS made 14-of-19 shots in that first period to open up a commanding 32-10 advantage.
“We hit every shot we took, so that was nice,” said Devil head coach Karen Foster. “That ain’t gonna happen the whole game. If we shoot 38 to 45 percent, I feel confident that we’re going to win every game.”
After the forgettable first period, Granite Bay came out firing on all cylinders. The Grizzlies made five 3-pointers in the second quarter, including three consecutive possessions. GBHS would go on to make 10 treys in the game.
Foster attributed the Grizzlies’ success from downtown to poor perimeter defending.
“They’re just not playing tight. We gotta play up on our man,” Foster said. “We gotta be within a hand’s distance of our man, especially when they’re shooting threes. I told them that for three quarters and they didn’t adjust to it that well.”
Still, despite Granite Bay’s success from long range, Davis still held a comfortable 47-33 lead at intermission.
And just to make sure, the Blue Devils came out of the gates with an 8-0 run starting the third period. During the spurt, Grahn and Stenz each hit wide-open layups off of slick passes from Mazzoleni.
Stenz then showed off her versatility. First she knocked down a 15-foot jumper, and on the following possession, she grabbed three consecutive offensive rebounds and eventually put in the bucket.
Stenz stuffed the stat sheet — finishing with 21 points, 13 boards, three assists, three blocks and four steals — and carried DHS through the second and third periods. During that time, the rest of the Devils went stone cold, shooting 28.5 percent from the floor.
“I just have to get the right subs in,” Foster said. “We have to click, no matter who is out there.”
In the fourth quarter, Foster left most of her subs in the game. Senior La’rell Cato was a force inside, as she recorded six points and eight boards in the quarter.
Overall, Foster was happy with her team’s performance in their first official game:
“It was a good win. We came out confident, we came out on fire, had a few lapses, a few too many turnovers. I was happy with our ball movement, and our passing, getting easy layups.”
Notes: In the other games of the day: Carondelet beat Rio Americano 81-11, and Friday will take on Brookside Christian, after it topped Chico, 72-31. At 8 p.m. on Friday, the Blue Devils will see Campolindo, a team that triumphed over West Campus, 55-41, in the first round.
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org