The Palo Alto High School boys’ basketball team (14-10, 8-4) will play its first Central Coast Section playoff game against Sequoia High School (11-8, 8-4) at 7 p.m. today in the Big Gym. This will be the last boys’ basketball game played in the historic Big Gym, which is set for demolition on June 1.
The Vikings are coming off of a first-round bye, while Sequoia comes in fresh off of a win. Sequoia beat Monta Vista High School (11-14, 6-6) in the first round, according to the tournament bracket.
Paly junior guard Kevin Mullin says he is looking forward to the game and expects the team to go far in the tournament.
“I think everyone on the team is excited,” Mullin said. “We’re going to focus on executing our offense and hopefully getting some stops on defense.”
Senior guard Clark Schmutz shares Mullin’s focus.
“Our team is making sure we rebound and box out,” Schmutz said. “[Sequoia] is a big team, so the rebounding will be important.”
Both Mullin and Schmutz think a victory is in reach for their last game in the Big Gym.
“I think we can definitely win this game and get to the finals if we play well,” Mullin said.
“It’s great to be able to play a home game during CCS,” Schmutz said. “There should be a good crowd since it’s the last game in the [Big] Gym.”
Senior Audrey DeBruine has mixed feeling about attending the last game in the Big Gym before it is knocked down for the construction of a brand new athletic complex.
“The gym is so old and so storied,” DeBruine said. “It’s still going to be a weird, sad feeling walking out of the game tomorrow. It’s also the last home game I’ll watch as a student at Paly, but I guess I feel lucky that the gym being torn down lined up with my senior year.”
The Vikings can reach CCS finals by winning three games in a row. They have to beat Sequoia, then Menlo-Atherton High School (16-8, 8-4), which has byes all the way to the quarterfinals on March 1, and then win their semifinal game.
“We just have to play hard and let the game come to us,” Schmutz said.