By Ryan Nishikawa,
It’s the third quarter. Both women’s basketball teams are playing strong. Neither can seize a solid lead over the other.
Then, a girl in navy and gold–Elk Grove’s No.1 player–lands a three-point shot to steal the lead from the Lady Blue Devils. The Thundering Herd strike hard, ballooning their lead to a 58-45 victory on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
The game, held at The Cage, was Davis’ first Delta League conference game of the 2015-16 season. Despite a strong performance in the first half–leading to a 27-25 DHS lead–and a three-pointer by sophomore point guard Kelsey Forrester, an 11-0 finish in the third quarter tipped the game in Elk Grove’s favor.
Thundering Herd guards Madison Wong and Mira Shulman were the most prolific cogs in the Elk Grove offensive machine, scoring a total of 41 of their team’s 58 points. Without sufficient pressure on her, Wong landed six three-pointers, planting the final nail in DHS’ coffin.
The Lady Blue Devils’ overall season record now stands at 5-7; the coach and the players are down but far from devastated.
“A loss is tough,” head coach Heather Highshoe said. “But we know that every game that we’re going to face this season is going to be very competitive and teams are gonna be out for us. And so, we need to be able to just compete, every second of the game, from to start to finish.”
Despite the disappointing outcome for DHS, the team can still be proud of its play.
“I think we started the first quarter really strong,” senior point guard Anna Belenis said. “We were hitting our shots, then they started guarding our shots and we didn’t go out on their shooters.”
Belenis identified Wong as one of Elk Grove’s more threatening players. Next time they meet, the Blue Devils will be ready.
“Next time, I think we need to respect her shot more,” Belenis said. “We can’t let her shoot three every time in our faces.”
Meanwhile, Elk Grove’s overall season record jumped up to 8-4.
Wong is quite optimistic about her team’s chances. Nonetheless, she remained humble in spite of the victory.
“Davis has a really competitive team and we’ll be seeing them again this season,” Wong said.