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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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New DHS girls coach sees positives in loss at SFHS

By
January 6, 2011 |

Enterprise staff writer

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SACRAMENTO — It was a mixed bag in Davis High\’s first game out after six-year Lady Blue Devils coach Jeff Christian was removed by district officials on Monday.

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The locals, playing listlessly in the first eight minutes, fell behind big at halftime, before losing a 75-51 nonleague decision at St. Francis on Thursday. DHS trailed 43-17 after the first 16 minutes.

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“The effort level (was) there … I thought we played really well in spurts,” interim coach Dennis Foster said after his Devils (9-6) dropped their third straight game.

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“Of course, after everything, we had some people who didn\’t have their (focus) totally on basketball,” Foster continued. “We needed to get out there and just play.”

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Davis gamely battled the Troubadours (6-4) to a 4-2 standoff in the first couple of minutes before six turnovers and white-hot shooting from St. Francis produced a 17-2 Troubie lead.

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The Blue Devils dug themselves a deeper hole in the second quarter as miscues gave SFHS 16

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uncontested points off top-of-the-key turnovers.

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Foster saw the problem with 5:51 left in the second period and the game still manageable — DHS players pushing a little too hard. After a Troubadour cold streak had the Devils hanging in, the new coach called time out.

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It was a good thought, but Davis still faltered coming out of the break. St. Francis forced five consecutive turnovers and went on a 10-0 run, leaving the locals down more than 20.

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“We just need to execute better. The second half was better, but our turnovers were the kind that allowed (St. Francis) to score too easily,” Foster noted, adding turnovers are part of the game, but where on the court DHS\’ giveaways occurred, was devastating.

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Tending to wounds that included 23 turnovers and 6-for-23 shooting by intermission, the Blue Devils came out renewed for the third period, actually outscoring the Troubadours, 34-32, the rest of the way.

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Seniors Malika and Khaliya Wilkins each had 16 points for Davis and divided 15 rebounds between them (Malika with nine).

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At one point in the second quarter, Malika Wilkins had a 360-degree twist for a successful drive to the bucket as DHS\’ offense basically played off the twins\’ assault of the lane.

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But once the Devils got rolling late, the girls ran the offense and sophomores Ashleigh Vandenbrink and Tori Powell made their presence felt.

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Vandenbrink finished with four points, but had three assists and four steals to go with three rebounds.

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Then, during a span of 1:14 toward the end of the contest, Powell had five points (including a three-point play), two steals and a rebound.

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“We\’ll play better Saturday,” Foster promised. “We all knew (Thursday) was going to have a different feel.”

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Shooting an otherwise manageable 38 percent on 21-of-54 from the field, DHS\’ ball-handling and back-wall defense were the culprits as its 32 turnovers allowed St. Francis to shoot 58 percent on the night.

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Center Ellie Earley led the SFHS scorers with 16 (on 7-of-8 shooting) and brilliant senior guard Briana Charles tallied nine points, including three buckets in which she stole Blue Devil passes and drove the distance.

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Charles also had seven steals and five assists.

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Notes: Next up for Davis is Rosemont (3-7) of Sacramento at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game marks the last tune-up for the Devils before they open Delta Valley Conference play Tuesday on the road against Grant (7 p.m.). .. The girls — who have worn their new uniforms for only two games now — return home next Friday against Laguna Creek. … Foster, who also is the DHS athletic director and previously coached boys basketball for eight seasons at Natomas, was asked if he was interested in making his interim tag permanent. Accompanied by a smile, the answer was, “No.” … Sara Sousa hit both of her shots for five points in less than eight minutes on the court.

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— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8047. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com. To view and purchase Blue Devil sports photos, visit http://davisenterprise.zenfolio.com

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