ELK GROVE — If there’s a better all-around basketball player in the Delta Valley Conference than Davis High’s Ashleigh Vandenbrink, she has yet to have made her presence felt.
The Lady Blue Devils’ standout forward was at it again Friday, scoring 29 points, pulling down nine rebounds and ensuring upstart Elk Grove didn’t put a damper on the locals’ DVC title aspirations.
Vandenbrink scored 19 of her points in the first half of a 57-40 DHS road win which — thanks to Grant’s 57-31 demolition of Monterey Trail — put the Devils in a first-place tie with the Mustangs.
“She was pretty much on fire,” DHS coach Karen Foster said of her senior co-captain. “Ashleigh was terrific, as usual.”
Vandenbrink is averaging a double-double this winter — 15 ppg and 10 boards.
The Thundering Herd, which lost, 69-28, at Davis on Jan. 8, was a different team this time around.
Trailing only 30-24 at intermission, Elk Grove was staying close because of guard Madison Wong.
The diminutive freshman sank five treys and scored 19 points on the night as the Blue Devils’ penchant for turnovers — 26 in all, most unforced, according to Foster — kept the game from evolving into another rout.
Foster said her squad’s normally constricting full-court pressure didn’t work early — therefore she called it off.
But Vandenbrink, with sophomore Emma Stenz’s 12 points and 10 rebounds contributing mightily, ensured that DHS stayed the course.
An 11-5 third-period advantage was followed by a 16-11 fourth period to take the Devils (18-4) to 5-1 in DVC play and a share of the conference’s top spot with Monterey Trail (16-7, 5-1). The two schools meet Feb. 4 in what promises to be a championship game on the Mustangs’ home court. (Davis lost 71-61 to The Trail on Jan. 18).
“Grant beating Monterey Trail opens it up for us,” Foster says, who knows fans need to keep a wary eye on Grant over the circuit’s final four games. The Pacers (13-9, 4-2) come to Davis on Tuesday.
In topping The Herd, Rachael Allison had seven points for DHS, Tori Powell added five, and Katie Grahn and Anna Belenis scored two each.
Wing Caitlin Mazzoleni missed another game with the flu and Foster has her fingers crossed that her 5-foot-11 sophomore will be back for Grant.
”She gives us another offensive threat driving the paint,” the coach explained, adding that her height comes in handy when working the boards.