ROCKLIN — With Thunder Valley Casino visible from the school’s parking lot, Whitney High’s girls were forced to roll snake eyes by a stifling Davis High defense as the Blue Devils cruised to a 69-27 nonleague basketball victory on Thursday.
With several highlight-reel moments in the first quarter alone, DHS opened a 23-7 lead and never broke a sweat the rest of the way. When Danika Carlisle sank two free throws as the mercy-clock horn sounded, the final score marked the locals’ biggest margin of the night.
The Devils upped their record to 12-3, while the Wildcats fell to 6-10.
So what does a blowout win against a so-so squad show Davis for its future?
“It actually means a lot,” Blue Devil co-captain Tori Powell said afterward. “It’s definitely a confidence-booster and it lets us (have everybody) get a run.
“It gives us a chance to try new things and see what works and what doesn’t work.”
Early on, everything worked.
Using a full-court man trap, DHS forced four quick Whitney miscues, allowing the Devils to jump on top 7-0.
The second basket of the game was for Sportscenter’s Top 10 …
Davis freshman guard Anna Belenis had her possession hijacked, but a diving Powell regained the ball and — from her bottom — passed to Rachael Allison at the free-throw line.
Allison’s nanosecond flick to Emma Stenz underneath brought some flash to the visiting Blue Devils’ attack.
Seconds later, back on her feet, Powell cut in front of Whitney’s brilliant Alana Vieira, stole the pass and laid in a hard-angle basket.
Davis coach Karen Foster then began to shake up her lineup as Danielle Gantar came off the bench and badgered the Wildcats even further.
Gantar, in three minutes of play, grabbed five rebounds, captured an errand WHS pass, handed out an assist and recorded a putback that gave the Devils a 17-point lead at 7:02 of the first period.
With the locals slowing down some in the second quarter, Belenis nonetheless produced some gasps with a NBA-style, leaping, one-arm rocket assist to a wide-open Stenz inside.
Belenis-Stenz Road was a thoroughfare most of the night as the pair hooked up for three other buckets. The only toll being taken was on the ‘Cats.
Sophomore post Stenz finished with 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Belenis — true to her typical game — had seven assists, three steals no make a huge impact without scoring a point.
Foster, who cares little about whether Belenis puts the ball up, again marveled at her ninth-grader’s acumen in seeing the court — but cautioned the team afterwards that its overall passing needed to be stronger, that girls needed to come to ball more.
Foster’s concern stemmed from 21 Davis turnovers.
But on a night that saw top gun Ashleigh Vandenbrink suffer through 1-for-11 shooting, guard play was waaaay deep.
Seniors Becca Hassid and Kylie Drexel and sophomore Caitlin Mazzoleni were all big contributors.
Hassid had four points, four steals, an assist and three rebounds, while Drexel scored six. Mazzoleni had the night’s only 3-pointer while scoring 13 and playing solid defense.
DHS’ Katie Grahn was a tough match-up inside as she managed six rebounds, four points and an assist as the lead grew with her presence.
Notes: Allison finished with eight points and Powell tallied six. … Next up for the Blue Devils is Yuba City (3-7) at 3 p.m. at The Cage. After that, it’s showtime as Delta Valley Conference opens with DHS hosting Elk Grove on Tuesday. … Whitney’s leading scorer Vieira went down hard in the third period and didn’t return. At the time, Davis led 43-17. She finished with five points. Sami Willis led the Wildcats with six.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-747-8047.