A win is a win, as the saying goes.
However, Lady Blue Devil mentor Karen Foster said Davis High’s 62-37 victory over Pioneer on Wednesday at The Cage was a bit too sloppy to celebrate.
“I mean, it was nice to get everyone in, so that everyone gets a chance to play,” Foster said after the Devils improved to 6-3 on the season. “But we definitely have some cleaning up to do as far as our play is concerned.”
The Patriots (7-6) seemed keen on punishing this flaw and exacting revenge for the 62-10 pasting DHS handed them last season at The Cage. With that in mind, Pioneer held an early 11-10 advantage in the match’s first two minutes.
But Blue Devil junior Katie Grahn’s buckets fell time and time again, helping Davis squash the Pats’ best efforts to keep pace. The first quarter thus concluded at 17-13 in favor of the hosts.
Eight of Grahn’s 12 eventual points came in that initial period, whereas the Lady Devils’ other leading scorer, junior Emma Stenz, surfaced in the later quarters with enough buckets to match Grahn’s scoring output.
Personal fouls came by the dozen in Wednesday’s physical match, a fact made apparent by all eight of Pioneer’s second-period points coming from free throws. DHS incurred 12 personal foul calls by intermission and 20 by game’s end.
But free throws alone were feeble in comparison to the pair of treys hit by Blue Devil sharpshooters Ariane Rusanganwa and Kelly Goedde-Matthews — plus the plethora of contributions from within the arc — which, together, added up to 19 total points for Davis in its highest-scoring period.
The 36-21 deficit that the Patriots faced at halftime agitated them into action in the third quarter, when Jordon Ball and Alexis Mata put away a trey and a two-pointer, respectively, before the Devils attempted a shot.
But when Stenz sank the quarter’s first bucket for DHS, to make it 38-27, the narrative shifted. Grahn and Alaina King played off of well-placed passes by point guard Anna Belenis (seven assists) to add another four points, while Pioneer struggled to get off shot attempts.
Lady Blue Devil senior La’Rell Cato, who grabbed 11 rebounds Wednesday evening, was responsible for another three points in this quarter — before it closed with Davis ahead 47-29.
In the final quarter, sophomore Sophie Seng kept the momentum by tallying the first successful shot for the locals. Seng ripped the ball away from opponents three times throughout, making her the night’s leader in steals.
Devil junior Jamie Bautista also made her mark on the game by coming off the bench and immediately sinking two consecutive buckets in that last period. Stenz followed with four straight from the charity stripe as DHS was feeling comfortable.
The large margin of victory, which allowed for liberal substitutions, was key for the Blue Devils, who have games each of the next three days at the Napa Tournament.
Davis opens against Vallejo (3-6) at 8 p.m. Thursday night.
“We have to board,” Foster said in regards to what it will take for her squad to succeed. “We have to limit them to one shot, and we have to finish at the hoop. We also can’t have as many turnovers as (Wednesday).”
— Reach Brett Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett.