ELK GROVE — Third-year Davis High girls basketball coach Karen Foster prides herself on getting her teams to bounce back from tough losses — like Tuesday’s one-point defeat on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Elk Grove.
And since junior Emma Stenz has been on varsity for all three years under Foster, the trait has been passed down to her.
Fast-forward to Friday night at Franklin, where Stenz led the way with a monster performance, but all the Lady Blue Devils were on their games, whipping the Wildcats, 66-40.
“(After Tuesday’s loss) we were determined, and we practiced like it for the next two days and then just played so hard (Friday),” Foster said. “We played really well. We outrebounded them 51-16 … the defense was good and the girls were just all clicking.”
But Stenz was the star, dominating inside on her way to 30 points and 25 rebounds, 14 of them on the offensive end. And if that wasn’t enough, Foster assigned her to guard Franklin’s top scorer, Elizabeth Evangelista (23 points), for the entire second half.
“(Evangelista) is a tough player,” Foster said. “Emma got tasked with everything possible and she preformed so well. The was the best game of her career, it was amazing to watch.
“(The Wildcats) were playing really aggressive and the refs were letting us play so that was great because we are learning to play that way.”
But Stenz wasn’t alone in playing at the top of her game as DHS (15-8, 5-2 Delta Valley Conference) got contributions from up and down the roster. Caitlin Mazzoleni, another junior who has been with Foster for three years, added 10 points.
And the scoring from Stenz and Mazzoleni was set up by some nifty passing as the Devils finished with 17 assists. Floor general Anna Belenis, just a sophomore, dished out six helpers and harassed Franklin (13-11, 2-5) for six steals. Junior Katie Grahn had five assists and five steals to go with her nine points.
“Everyone was making the extra pass and finding the open man, and that person was finishing,” Foster explained.
While those efforts came from the Davis starters, the local bench players more than held their own when they got into the game. Sophie Seng scored seven points and grabbed eight boards, freshman Alyssa Lengtat added six points and seven rebounds and both earned praise from Foster.
“They gave us strong play off the bench and that’s so big,” Foster said.
The Blue Devils, now tied for second place in the DVC with Elk Grove, are back home for two games this week. Following a Tuesday (7 p.m.) matchup against Laguna Creek, DHS has what Foster called “the game that is going to count” on Friday against 7-0 Monterey Trail.