The Davis High girls water polo team has had a wealth of talent the past two decades, as proven by its nine Sac-Joaquin Section championships — including each of the last three.
But in all of those CIF playoff games, longtime Blue Devil head coach Doug Wright doesn’t remember a higher scoring performance than Heather Johnson’s eight-goal explosion on Tuesday. The junior’s huge outing led DHS to a 15-5 victory over Lincoln (Stockton) in the section quarterfinals at Tokay High.
“Heather Johnson was awesome,” Wright said. “She made some outside shots, a lot of nice drives. She was just being really creative and finishing shots.”
The Devils led 2-0 after the first quarter, then 5-1 at the half. After a huge third period, though, the locals had the game in hand at 12-2.
“We had a bit of a slow start but then kind of got it going in the second quarter,” Wright said. “We really poured it on in the third.”
With Johnson getting a big chuck of the Davis goals, Colby Stapleton and Lauren Owens were the next highest scorers with two each. Jane Gunnell, Mara Dominguez and Kendall Doten had one tally apiece, while goalie Alicia Demaree had five blocks in the first three quarters before giving way to Mattie Lilliedoll (two blocks).
“Colby was dominant. She only had two goals but drew a lot of ejections,” Wright said. “Emma Meads, Haley Blackwell and Monica Fererra, along with Jane Gunnell, did a good job off the bench.”
The defending Division I champions now move on to Thursday’s semifinal, where they will face Del Oro — which captured last year’s D-II title before moving up — at 1 p.m. The Golden Eagles feature goalie Kaitlynn Johnson, who plays club water polo with many of the DHS players.
“She is a really talented goalie,” Wright said. “You have to be mindful when it’s your turn to shoot that you have to put a little extra zip and a little extra direction on it.”