If you came a few minutes late to Davis High’s 75-18 girls basketball win over Laguna Creek on Tuesday at The Cage, the game was already over.
That certainly won’t be the case on Friday when Monterey Trail brings its 8-0 Delta Valley Conference record to The Cage for a showdown with the second-place Lady Blue Devils (16-8, 6-2).
DHS is hoping Devil fans come out in big numbers to see the important matchup, as well as help them celebrate Senior Night. Local youth basketball players wearing their team jerseys will be let in free.
“We are packing this gym! This gym will be standing-room-only,” said Davis coach Karen Foster. “We gotta have that sixth man with us. We need it and we are excited.”
Though the Mustangs got the Blue Devils to play a slowdown game in a 54-51 home victory over DHS on Jan. 28, Foster and star junior Emma Stenz both say the locals are prepared to force their up-and-down style in Friday’s rematch.
“We cannot play into their game, they play a slowdown game,” Foster explained. “We are going to play up-in-their-face defense. We are not going to let them bring it to us, we are going to dictate their play.”
Playing within that fast-paced attack, Stenz has averaged 28.5 points and 21.5 rebounds in the past two Lady Devil outings. That includes Tuesday’s 27-point, 18-board performance in the win over the Cardinals.
“We just need to keep working on handling the ball and being able to play under mental and physical pressure from the other team,” Stenz said. “For a lot of our … players, it’s a whole new level of game that Monterey Trail brings. They’ve got some very talented players and they’re very intense and very aggressive.
“It’s all about just keeping your mental toughness and being able to play through that and I honestly think our last few games have really prepared us for that.”
Though Laguna Creek didn’t provide much physical pressure on Tuesday — Davis was ahead 36-6 midway through the second period — the Blue Devils had to use some mental toughness just to stay in the game against the overmatched Cardinals.
Foster, who mixed and matched her lineups throughout the night, said she liked the way her team passed the ball crisply and played strong defense throughout the contest.
Complementing Stenz in the scoring department were sharpshooters Ariane Rusanganwa (nine points) and Kelly Goedde-Matthews (seven), who came off the bench to make two 3-pointers apiece. Another reserve, sophomore Sophie Seng, pulled down 13 rebounds to go with her six points.
Rounding out the DHS scorers were Caitlin Mazzoleni (six points), Rachael Allison (six), Sarah Bloise (five), freshman Alyssa Lengtat (four), Anna Belenis and Katie Grahn with one bucket each and Jamie Bautista, who knocked down a free throw.
— Reach Chris Saur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8049.