Nov. 30—In a memorable outing, the DHS varsity women’s basketball team outlasted the Natomas High School Nighthawks in a 53-46 victory on Nov. 30 in the home opener for the team.
The Blue Devils honored the ’74-’75 Sac-Joaquin Section championship DHS teams in between the J.V. and varsity games. These teams won the first ever championships in the section for women’s hoops.
At halftime, Denise Curry’s jersey from the championship seasons was presented to the current Blue Devils to be hung on the wall above the team room. Curry’s #12 is now retired.
The win also marked the first on-the-record win for new head coach Karen Foster.
“It feels really good,” Foster said.
According to her, the fact that the win occurred in front of the DHS ’74-’75 section championship teams made it even better.
The Blue Devils came out in a full-court press and continued the aggressive defense until the bitter end.
Foster replaced her troops often, allowing her team to keep fresh legs, frustrating the tired Nighthawk team.
The Blue Devils led 21-16 at halftime.
Both teams came out strong in the second half, but fouls and turnovers got the best of them.
Natomas fought back from an eleven-point deficit to take the lead at the 5:19 marker in the fourth quarter.
From then on, it was a fight to the finish.
The lead went back and forth from Davis to Natomas for approximately three minutes, until the Blue Devils stole the momentum. Freshman center Emma Stenz seized control of the game for Davis, scoring six of the final 11 points.
Stenz led both teams with 18 points on the night. Junior forward Ashleigh Vandenbrink added 12 points for the team.
Nighthawks’ Morgan Johnson and Belinda Spencer both led Natomas with 10 points each.
Jasmine Shedrick and Spencer both fouled out for Natomas.
Foster believes the “full court press rattled [Natomas],” and was a major factor in the team’s victory.
She thinks the biggest weakness for the team is their free throws. According to her, they shoot 200 free throws every practice.
“It’s all mental right now,” Foster said.
She also believes the team needs to control their turnovers. The Blue Devils committed 25 turnovers on the night, along with 35 turnovers in the Foundation Game against Vacaville on Nov. 28.
Co-captain Vandenbrink agrees with Foster that their pressure on defense was strong.
“We played well at the end of the game as a team,” she said.
Vandenbrink also believes the team needs to work on their free throws in game-like situations.
Denise Curry holds the all-time scoring record at UCLA and is in the women’s basketball Hall of Fame as a two-time Olympian winning the gold medal in ’84.
Senior guard Sara Sousa, one of the two seniors on the team, has been out with an injury for two week and is expected to return in a week or two.