DIXON — With 12 different players scoring, the Davis High girls basketball team worked its way into Saturday’s Ram Jam championship game with a 63-30 victory over Roseville on Thursday at the Barnyard at Dixon High.
The Lady Blue Devils jumped out to a 10-0 lead, then coasted as local coach Karen Foster used a host of different lineups to keep the Tigers (2-10) mystified. The win was DHS’ 10th in 13 games.
“We used this to prepare for Saturday. They were a little outmatched,” Foster told The Enterprise. “We wanted to use this for what will be an intense game on Saturday.”
The pool-play tournament will pit Inderkum against the Devils at 6:30 p.m. for the title. The championship contest is a rematch from a Dec. 4 encounter, which Davis won, 75-49.
On Thursday, the Blue Devils came out in a half-court trapping man defense, which was soon bagged after DHS forced six straight turnovers and limited Roseville to just eight first-period shots.
As guard Kylie Drexel was going all out in extended playing time, Lauren Cordano and Danielle Gantar were creating inside havoc as the Tigers had to redirect their intended penetration.
Cordano’s in-the-paint bucket, off a slick Gantar dish, served notice that it wasn’t going to matter which local combination was on the floor — the game would be settled early.
So in control were the Devils that a seven-minute swoon (in which Roseville allowed only seven DHS points) figured little in the intensity of the game.
Despite the scoring hiccup, Blue Devil starting center Emma Stenz scored 10 of her 12 points in the first half. Fans saw Davis use baskets by Stenz and Belenis just seconds before intermission to take a 31-10 advantage into the locker room. Assists from guard Anna Belenis (to Stenz) and Caitlin Mazzoleni were part of a 15-2 Devil run that continued just after the break.
Rachael Allison and Ashleigh Vandenbrink worked a dazzling, third-period give-and-go that brought the night’s biggest cheer as DHS moved out to a 36-12 lead.
Roseville’s Lindsay Anderson, however, wouldn’t let Davis go hide, as her six-point third period got the Tigers within 16. However, Danika Carlisle, Gantar and Cordano embarked on a 40-second sequence that provide six more Devil points and a commanding 45-20 bulge.
Meanwhile, Drexel — the three-sport senior standout — literally was taking it on the chin, nose and noggin while sparking her team late in the game.
Drexel scored all six of her points (including a trey) in the final period, but her relentless play started the minute she hit the court early in the game. Drexel finished with five steals, four rebounds and two assists. Twice she got smacked on in-your-shirt defensive efforts, but held sway as Roseville managed only eight fourth-quarter points.
“She was all over the place. On defense, taking the ball to the hoop … A good job,” Foster said of her emerging back-court player.
Drexel knows it’s almost crunch time with Delta Valley Conference play beginning in less than two weeks (Davis opens Jan. 8 at home with Elk Grove).
“League? I think we’re gonna kill it,” said Drexel, who’s headed to USC on a lacrosse scholarship. “We’re working out all kinds of little kinks right now, but I think by the time it hits league, we’re going to be so pumped up. Before (every) game, we all huddle and get pumped up and by the time league is here — well, that’s game time!
“Most of all, getting playing time like this shows I’m playing hard … earning my spot. It feels good that I can actually help my team on the court and encourage my players by showing them by example.”
DHS dominated all phases of Thursday’s contest: outrebounding Roseville, 42-27; dishing out 17 assists on 26 baskets; forcing 24 turnovers to only 18 of its own; and collecting a season-high 21 steals.
Following Stenz in the scoring parade was Vandenbrink with 10 (and six boards to go with six steals and five assists); Carlisle, Katie Grahn and Drexel with six points each; and five from Tori Powell. Cordano, Mazzoleni and Becca Hassid added four apiece and Belenis and Allison each had buckets.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.