By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Three seasons, three City Section titles. Winning is all Demonnie Lagway has known since arriving at Palisades High. In the spring, she was named Co-Player of the Year in the section along with Dolphins teammate Alexis Pettis. In 2021-22, however, the floor will be hers and she is ready to take the baton and run with it.
“I’ve learned from Jane [Nwaba] and Alexis [Pettis] the last two years about what it means to be a leader,” says Lagway, who led the Dolphins in scoring last season. “I couldn’t ask for two better players to learn from. They lead by example and I could go to them for advice on and off the court.”
Nwaba was the City MVP her senior year at Palisades and just completed her freshman season at Pepperdine. Pettis was Palisades’ starting point guard for four years and won the Post Cup Award as the school’s outstanding senior athlete in June—an honor Nwaba received the year before. Lagway would like to be so honored in her senior year but she knows the first order of business is a fourth straight City title under coach Adam Levine.
Lagway, a versatile guard/forward, showed promise as a freshman and earned All-City first team and All-State honors as a sophomore while proving to be a matchup nightmare for every opponent she faced in the playoffs.
Although the Dolphins graduated Pettis, shooting guard Sammie Arnold and forwards Ivy Scott and Rose Morris, they have plenty of talent coming back, including twins Elise and Taylor Arnold (Sammie’s younger sisters), guards Brooke Shibata, Sydney Meskin and Sophia Canter and center Janelly Portillo.
If she has learned how to be a leader from her predecessors, she has learned toughness and perseverance from her uncle and former Pali High basketball player Paul Davis, the victim of a drive-by shooting 15 years ago. Now a beloved youth coach, Davis captained Palisades’ 2006-07 team under James Paleno.
Lagway recently starred at the Battle of the Best Tournament with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals to help her Cal Sparks club team to victory over VK Canada.
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