Entering Friday night’s matchup with visiting Monterey Trail, the Davis High girls basketball team was riding a nine-game winning streak, including a 3-0 mark in Delta Valley Conference play.
However, with starters Rachael Allison (sprained ankle) and Tori Powell (illness) labeled inactive before the start of the contest, the Lady Blue Devils fell behind early and never quite caught up in a 71-61 loss.
In the absence of Allison and Powell, the Mustangs (15-6, 4-0) rode strong performances from guards Tiara Webb and Jasmine Redman to send DHS to 16-4 overall and 3-1 in the DVC.
Things looked good for the Devils early, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the first possession of the game, thanks to an Emma Stenz put-back after a missed shot by Caitlin Mazzoleni.
However, the Mustangs instantly took a lead they would not relinquish by hitting back-to-back treys.
In the first half, Monterey Trail implemented a full-court press to try to stymie the DHS guards. The Blue Devils were often able to escape the press, but dropped passes resulted in 10 local turnovers before intermission.
The giveaways created several scoring opportunities for Redman, who recorded 20 points in the first half, including two 3-pointers.
“Too many turnovers. We have to reduce the turnovers,” DHS coach Karen Foster said afterward. “We’ll be fine. We matched up well.”
Although Redman exploded offensively, the Devil defense stepped up to limit the damage done by other Mustangs.
One of those key stops led to a Mazzoleni layup, which cut the lead to three with 10 seconds remaining in the first half. But a deep, buzzer-beating trey from Redman — who finished with a game-high 27 points — extended Monterey Trail’s advantage to 37-32 at intermission.
“Our defense always keeps us in games. We play pretty good defense,” Foster said. “But … they were shooting well.”
Redman cooled off in the second half, as the Devils turned their attention to stopping the 5-foot-8 junior. However, Webb — only a sophomore — picked up the offensive slack by constantly slicing and dicing her way into the paint for easy layups.
The inside buckets helped her pour in 14 of her 18 points in the second half, including a two-minute stretch during which she scored eight straight for the Mustangs.
Despite the loss, there were positive performances as Davis’ starting frontcourt of Stenz, Mazzoleni and Ashleigh Vandenbrink combined for 57 points and 31 boards. Stenz finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds; Vandenbrink had 21 points, nine rebounds and three assists; and Mazzoleni posted 18 points, five boards and two assists.
So, do the Blue Devils need to make improvements before Tuesday’s matchup at Franklin (10-10, 2-2)?
“No improvements, you know, (just) the same stuff we’ve always been working on,” Foster said. “We (have to) play good team defense, pass the ball, finish our shots. A couple of my starters were out (Friday). We pulled within five points twice … our shot just wasn’t falling.”
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