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Owen Yancher: Sizing up an incredible Lady Devil upset

The phrase has probably been used before, and, sure, it may be a little cliché, but the Davis High girls basketball team truly did send a shockwave through the Sac-Joaquin Section on Monday night.

A DHS losing streak that had spanned the tenures of the Lady Devils’ past five head coaches saw its end as Davis shocked a McClatchy team ranked 16th in the state and atop the Sac-Joaquin Section most of this season, 49-47.

365体育滚球For Emme Eisenman and Skylar Schouten — the Devils’ leading scorers with 14 apiece — the win avenged an ugly, 41-point loss to the Lions at the start of last season.

365体育滚球But the one game I had on my mind Monday was Davis’ meeting with McClatchy in the 2015 CIF State tournament.

365体育滚球In Devil head coach Heather Highshoe’s first year at the varsity helm after taking over for Karen Foster, DHS had gone 14-0 in Delta League play and bulldozed Lodi, 85-34, in the opening round of the section playoffs.

Days later, playing in front of a standing-room-only crowd at The Cage, the Lady Blue Devils triumphed over Lincoln, 74-67, in an overtime outing “that had more twists and turns than Lombard Street,” my friend and former Enterprise staff writer, Spencer Ault, wrote.

Winners of 18 games in a row at that point, with Devil stars Emma Stenz, Caitlin Mazzoleni, Katie Grahn, Anna Belenis, Kelsey Forrester and Alyssa Lengtat spearheading the attack (five of whom matriculated to collegiate athletic careers), some called it the most-entertaining playoff game in DHS girls hoops history.

365体育滚球Those same people thought it was likely one of the most-talented Lady Devil basketball teams to ever take the court (though I’m sure folks like 1970s Lady Blue Devils Sue Towne, Therese Cardinet and Denise Curry might argue).

But even that 2015 squad couldn’t hold a candle to McClatchy.

Two weeks after that huge win over Lincoln, the Devils had their bells rung and hearts crushed in a 77-54 loss to the Lions in the second round of the CIF State Tournament. It was a setback whose sting likely never faded from Highshoe’s memory — until late Monday night.

Myself included, some 500 of the Blue Devil faithful made the trek across The Causeway for that contest at McClatchy’s gym — one of the coolest high school basketball facilities around, in my opinion (other than the old Rec Hall at Palo Alto High).

Surely no team could ever beat McClatchy, I remember thinking. Surely not DHS …

And none did, as the Lions went on to win that year’s CIF state title, beating Serra (Gardena) in double-overtime at Cal’s Haas Pavilion.

Oddly enough, entering Monday’s outing this 2020 McClatchy unit sported a better overall record than that 2015 team. And they likely left the building shellshocked having been upset by a Davis team that sat just a single game above .500 at 13-12.

MaxPreps.com records stretch back only 16 seasons, but I have a feeling this win snaps a Lion win streak against DHS dating back far longer than 20 years. Former Devil coach Dan Ariola, a Blue Devil grad himself, who mentored the team in the 1990s, told me via text that he can’t recall Davis ever having beat McClatchy.

And while Schouten and Eisenman showed up biggest on the stat sheet Monday (heck, Schouten had an eye-popping 19 rebounds), I have to also tip my cap to Devil sophomore Mara Bledsoe for this one. It was her rebounding, her box outs and her pass breakups that I felt made a big difference in this upset for the history books.

Take a quick bow, Blue Devils. It’s back to business tonight against Pleasant Grove.

— Reach Owen Yancher at [email protected] Follow him via Twitter at @530athletics.

CalMatters


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