PHOTO: Head coach Heather Highshoe designs a play for her team during a timeout.
By Paige Ochoa,
Feb. 18 marked the final game of the 2019-2020 Davis High varsity women’s basketball season with a loss to Oak Ridge High 63-39 in El Dorado Hills. The playoff game is also the last of senior Surina Beal’s high school career, the only senior on the Lady Blue Devil squad.
Though tied at the end of the first quarter, 12-12, the Blue Devils only put up six more points before halftime, letting the game, and their season, slip through their fingertips.
After halftime, the score was 34-18, in favor of Oak Ridge. Although Davis continued to fight, splashing three more three-pointers and converting on other scoring opportunities, the push was not enough to overcome the Trojans’ explosive offense.
Concluding the season with an overall record of 17-13 and going 5-7 in league, the Lady Blue Devils had several significant wins over noteworthy opponents, including a 49-47 win against McClatchy High on Feb. 10, propelling their playoff dreams into reality.
“They have beaten us for so many years in a row and it was super satisfying to end that streak of losing to them,” junior Lily Hessl said. “Also, beating Saint Francis on senior night was definitely one of the best feelings, doing that for Surina, and of course, just beating our rival.”
In addition to another overall successful season in the win-loss column and taking a spot playoff picture, the varsity squad also overcame the early-season doubts of the young team, housing only one senior– Beal.
“I was kind of wondering how it was going to be going into this season being the only senior, but it ended up being one of the most fun seasons I’ve ever had,” Beal said. “We had a lot of ups and downs, but we finished out the season with some really great wins.”
Beal embraced her leadership role as the solo senior, scoring an average of 8.6 points per game and six rebounds. For the season, Beal accounted for 257 total points scored.
“Surina is always so composed during games but also knows when it’s appropriate to laugh and have fun,” Hessl said. “I am so thankful to have had her as a teammate because she is able to give advice on the game without sounding critical to her own teammates, which is really hard to do.”
With Beal leading the way, main contributors on both offense and defense include juniors Emme Eisenman, Maddie Buzbee, Skylar Schouten and Hessl, and sophomore Mara Blesdoe, however, throughout the course of the season, all 11 members made a difference to the outcome of their season.
As the basketball season has concluded, Beal looks back on her time playing for Davis and hopes that those following in her footsteps are able to incorporate fun lightheartedness into their play, just like she did as a Lady Blue Devil.
“I think I would just want younger players to take away the idea that it’s all about hard work and having fun,” Beal said. “If you put the team first and enjoy it, you’ll be successful.”
Looking towards the future, the 2020-2021 women’s basketball team could possibly have ten returning players– a number that seems fitting for success.
“I am extremely excited for next season because although we won’t have Surina, we will have most of the same team which means we can just continue getting better,” Hessl said.