Girls’ basketball dominates cross-town rival

    Senior Coco Lovely sets up to shoot a free throw in the Friday game on Quad Night against cross-town rival Gunn High School. Lovely led the Vikings in points, helping the team to an exciting win.

    Senior center Courtney Lovely sets up to shoot a free throw in the Friday game on Quad Night against cross-town rival Gunn High School. Lovely led the Vikings in points, bringing the team to an exciting win. Photo by Emma van der Veen.

    The Palo Alto High School girls’ basketball team (8-4, 1-1) routed cross-town rival Gunn High School (8-4, 0-2) with a 49-34 win on Quad Night last Friday at Gunn High School.

    The Vikings’ lockdown defense held the Titans to zero points scored in the second and third quarter, allowing Paly to come back from a four point deficit in the first quarter.

    “We were able to hold them scoreless for two quarters and that’s pretty good,” head coach Scott Peters said. “Our biggest problem was shooting. A lot of that was being too nervous or us putting too much pressure on ourselves. We just have to relax.”

    The momentum shifted in the second quarter when junior forward Julie Chandler dished assists to sophomore forward Sophie Frick on backdoor cuts on two consecutive possessions. Frick’s layups helped the Vikings take the lead, 22-19.

    Senior center Courtney Lovely was the leading scorer for the team with 13 points, though the Vikings struggled with shooting overall, according to senior guard Maddy Atwater.

    “We rush our shots sometimes and we don’t need to,” Atwater said. “We just have to relax and take our shots.”

    The amount of energy from the team, amplified by the crowd, helped Paly to come back from their first quarter performance, according to Peters.

    “They scored 19 points and we didn’t get down,” Peters said. “In the first quarter, we just kept at it with that same energy, and that paid off.”

    Junior guard Lauren Koyama also emphasized the significance of the team’s energy.

    “We were very amped up,” Koyama said. “The crowd brought energy that kind of made us overwhelmed, but we played well and we did what we wanted to do … we really got after it and we had a ton of energy.”

    The Vikings will face off against the Saratoga Falcons (10-4, 1-1) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Gunn, Paly’s home gym for the season.

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