The Palo Alto High School girls’ basketball team (8-9, 1-4) was overmatched by the Wilcox High School Chargers (16-3, 6-0) in a decisive 58-36 home defeat Tuesday night.
Despite four three-pointers from freshman standout Lauren Koyama, the Vikings’ three-point shooting didn’t match up with Wilcox’s inside presence for the entire game.
This became evident in the second half when the Vikings cooled off and were held to only 19 points, while giving up 35 Charger points. On the rare occasion that Paly prevented Wilcox from scoring inside, Wilcox’s post players dished the ball out for uncontested three-pointers, which were easily converted.
“Defensively second half they just hit their shots,” sophomore guard Maddy Atwater said. “Our game plan allowed for them to take those shots and they started hitting them.”
The Vikings stuck with the Chargers in a first quarter which ended in controversy and a 17-12 deficit for Paly. As time expired the Vikings threw up a desperation shot, which rimmed out. Seconds still remained as Paly’s Julie Chandler grabbed the rebound and put it back in as the home crowd erupted. Unfortunately for the Vikings the shot was called off as the referees claimed it was released after time expired.
Although the Vikings struggled to take care of the ball in the second quarter, they trailed 23-17 at half by playing quality defense and beating Wilcox down the floor.
Wilcox’s star center and leading scorer Joeseta Fatuese finished the first half with nine points, although Paly’s Amelia Schmarzo mostly minimized her impact in the paint.
Despite the Vikings losing their third game in a row, Atwater was not disappointed with the play of the team.
“We did all that we could do,” sophomore guard Atwater said. “We went out and executed our game plan.”
The Vikings will look to end their three game skid and climb back to .500 when they hit the road to take on the Milpitas High School Trojans (6-9, 0-6) 6:15 p.m. Friday.