When every member of a team manages to score throughout the course of a game, it usually bodes well for the final result.
That’s exactly what happened for the Davis High girls basketball team on Friday night at The Cage. Every Lady Blue Devil, including recent JV call-up Alyssa Lengtat, a freshman, scored at least two points in an 86-56 rout of visiting Grant.
“We played hard in the Monterey Trail game (DHS’ first Delta Valley Conference loss of the season on Tuesday), so that motivated us to come out and play our style of ball,” Devil head coach Karen Foster said Friday. “We moved the ball up and down the court. You see our defense, when it works, it works, and when our offense is passing that ball … no one can stop it.”
Davis (14-7, 4-1) came out sizzling in the first quarter, cashing in on 12-of-17 shots against the Pacers (9-10, 1-4).
Junior shooting guard Katie Grahn shook off a couple of down performances and scored 10 of her 21 points in that opening stanza. Grahn thought her hot-shooting game came from the whole offense working as a unit.
“We worked really well as a team; I thought we were all on,” Grahn said. “We all stayed positive, we did a really good job of communicating, making the extra pass, and we finished well.”
After cooling off and scoring only 14 points in the second period, the Blue Devils went into halftime with a 41-29 lead.
However, after the break, the local starters — Caitlin Mazzoleni, Anna Belenis, Rachael Allison, Emma Stenz and Grahn — put their foot on the gas and DHS never looked back. The Devils went on an 18-5 run in the third quarter, which was highlighted by a Mazzoleni feed to Allison, who kicked the ball out to Stenz while in midair. Stenz nailed a jumper to extend the lead to 57-34.
With such a dynamic starting five, Foster aims to make sure that her stars stay healthy.
“I gotta keep them healthy, I gotta keep them injury-free, and find a balance (at practice),” Foster said. “We push at practice, but some practices are going to be lighter to keep their legs fresh.”
After getting 13 points from Stenz, 12 from Mazzoleni, eight points and five assists from Allison and eight assists from Belenis — in addition to Grahn’s huge scoring total — Foster ended up sitting her starting five for most of the fourth quarter. That meant valuable playing time for the Davis reserves, with the starters cheering their teammates on from the sidelines.
Lady Blue Devil junior Jamie Bautista scored two of her four points on a fast break, using a pump-fake to get a much taller defender in the air and then laying the ball in. Senior guard Ariane Rusanganwa hit a pair of 3-pointers, both of which had the entire bench erupting in cheers.
Junior Sarah Bloise, along with playing stellar defense and leading DHS in rebounds with 12, weaved her way through traffic for a tough layup.
And Lengtat continued a Devil trend of freshman excellence (Mazzoleni, Stenz, Belenis and Allison all contributed as ninth-graders) by scoring 12 points, grabbing four boards and disrupting passing lanes the whole night. Foster loved what she saw, and thinks Lengtat will continue to help the team.
“(Alyssa) is just what we need,” Foster added. “We need someone who will bang on those boards and drive it down the court. She shoots and finishes, and she can guard the bigs. Once we get her feet more into the varsity style — a little more aggressive and quick — she’ll be fine.”
Overall, Foster was pleased with the production of her bench.
“I love it. It’s nice to see that I can put anybody in,” Foster said. “I told my girls from the beginning of the season, if I don’t have a drop-off, everybody will play. That gets them hungry to get in, and get in to play.”
Notes: Davis High senior Devin Hayakawa nailed the national anthem before the game. … Grant’s Raynell Lynn recorded six emphatic blocks on the night, while scoring a game-high 22 points.
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterThomas