So, in the Lady Blue Devils’ 69-28 blowout Tuesday of visiting Elk Grove, what was the hope of Davis High basketball coach Karen Foster: play well or make a statement?
“I thought we did both,” the second-year mentor said after her girls had their best shooting night (51 percent from the floor) of the year.
“We wanted to come out and own it,” Foster continued. “(We) did really well. I was really impressed with Katie Grahn. She was strong on the boards, penetrated well and she anticipates the pass so well. I was happy. Those first (lineups) played outstanding basketball.”
On opening night of Delta Valley Conference play, DHS gave no quarter in the first period. The locals jumped out to a 24-10 lead after eight minutes.
Two assists by Devil guard Anna Belenis — then a steal and bucket by the freshman — helped Davis to a 10-1 lead with less than two minutes gone.
After an Elk Grove time out, enter Grahn …
A pass to Caitlin Mazzoleni resulted in a bucket, the Lauren Cordano found Grahn inside for two more. A Grahn jumper and another assist from the sophomore wing had the Blue Devils rolling, 20-8.
For the game, Grahn finished four-for-four shooting, grabbed three rebounds, had three assists and two steals.
But this DHS juggernaut is no one-trick pony. Grahn’s fast start seemed to energize the whole roster.
Building a 42-17 halftime lead, the Devils got balanced scoring regardless of who took the court.
While scoring 20 in the second stanza, Davis saw six different players score, with Emma Stenz canning six points. In a 16-point third period, baskets from Tori Powell, Jamie Kingsley and Grahn augmented Stenz’s five points.
Becca Hassid converted a long 3-pointer just after Daisy Kim’s two free throws launched the mercy-rule, 40-point clock. Kim’s charity tosses put the score at 64-24 in the final quarter.
Stenz had 13 points and 10 rebounds — both game highs. Mazzoleni and Powell added nine each and Ashleigh Vandenbrink made sevens wild with seven points and seven boards.
Belenis took a hard fall just before intermission, re-aggravating a right-wrist injury. Belenis didn’t return in the second half, but said she’d be OK. Despite limited playing time, her first-half performance was dazzling: two points, six steals, four assists and two rebounds.
Next up for the Devils is an away outing with Grant, one of three squads (with Monterey Trail and Davis) being mentioned as DVC title contenders. Game time is 7 p.m. Friday.
“We’ll see how well we play on the road against a quality team,” Foster said, looking forward to the first a several key conference outings. The Pacers were 9-7 through Monday.
Notes: The victory was DHS’ seventh straight. Two years ago, in dancing through their DVC slate unbeaten, the Blue Devils put together an 11-game win streak. … Danika Carlisle, whose recent play has showcased the depth that this 16-member team has, was again rugged inside. Making both of her shots in the fourth period, junior Carlisle went hard to the hoop with about four minutes left. Carlisle got a smack in the nose for her efforts and was sent to the foul line. Her two missed tosses, however, didn’t tarnish her continued hustle which featured two assists and two rebounds.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.