Woodcreek smothers Davis, runs to Speck tournament title

By: John Parker/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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DAVIS — Woodcreek High School senior guard Samantha Gonzalez doesn’t let her 5-foot-5 stature deter her from entering the lane. In fact, she often thrives in the land of the giants.

Gonzalez led all players with 14 points Saturday as the Timberwolves ran away with a 61-32 win over host Davis in the championship game of the 39th annual Dorothy Speck Tournament. Utilizing a lethal first step in the half-court set and screaming down the floor on the fast break, Gonzalez routinely finished in the lane with at least one defender in close proximity.

“I use my speed to my advantage,” said Gonzalez, who was honored as an all-tournament selection. “We’re not the biggest team, but we get after it defensively.”

Joining Gonzalez on the all-tournament team were senior forward Destiny Standifer and senior guard Fia Hoskinson, the tournament MVP.

After a close first quarter in which the Blue Devils didn’t miss a shot, the runnin’ Timberwolves clamped down defensively in the second with their 2-3 trapping zone and man-to-man looks. That choking defensive effort effectively put a lid on the basket for Davis and fed their own fast break as the Timberwolves took control.

Woodcreek scored 21 points each in quarters three and four while shooting 66 percent, scoring mostly in transition.

“We ratcheted up the defense and took advantage of their press,” Woodcreek coach Raymond Beck said.

Senior guard Lauren Cho provided consistent energy from the bench in scoring 11 points and not allowing there to be a lull while the starting backcourt rested.
“I just need to get my job done when I’m on the floor,” said Cho, a starter last season. “It’s really important to keep the momentum up and not let it break.”

With a deep bench and a roster dotted with perimeter scoring, Beck welcomed back a post threat as senior center Christina Mandich returned Friday from a sprained thumb that sidelined her the first two weeks of the season.

“That allows us to go big or go small now,” Beck said. “We can play a lot of different styles.”