Girls’ basketball tops Gunn for third straight win

    Junior forward Julie Chandler leaps in the air as she goes up for an acrobatic layup against Gunn late in the fourth quarter on Friday at Gunn. The Vikings beat the Titans, 40-28. Photo by Sam Lee. Junior forward Julie Chandler leaps in the air as she goes up for an acrobatic layup against Gunn late in the fourth quarter on Friday at Gunn. The Vikings beat the Titans, 40-28. Photo by Sam Lee.

    The Palo Alto High School girls’ basketball team (12-6, 5-2) stretched its winning streak to three after routing crosstown rival Gunn High School (11-7, 2-5) for the second time this season, 40-28, on Friday night at Gunn.

    Junior guard Lauren Koyama led the Vikings with 12 points throughout the game, and senior Alexis Harris added nine points, with eight of them coming from the fourth quarter.

    “We were really motivated to win this game because we were playing our rival Gunn, and that reflected in our play,” Koyama said. “The crowd’s presence was also sensational, and we really wanted to give our fans a win.”

    Head coach Scott Peters praised Harris’s phenomenal performance.

    “Harris really wanted this game, and she worked really hard,” Peters said. “She had four fouls, but she played very hard with effort. She wanted it so she went and got that ball and put it in. That was all on her own her effort.”

    The Vikings overall played very consistently, with eight points in the first quarter, 10 in both of the second and third and 12 in the fourth.

    A key aspect to winning the game was the pressure defense, according to Peters.

    “We put a lot of pressure, made them run around a lot and work for their scores,” Peters said.

    The Vikings were able to hold the Titans to 10 points or less each quarter.

    Despite the low scoring, the Vikings’ defense was vital to the victory, junior forward Julie Chandler said.

    “Overall I think we played fairly well,” Chandler said. “We played good defense and played hard the whole game. Our offense wasn’t at its best, but we were able to fight through and pull out the win.”

    The win against Gunn was also special for the players, especially for the seniors, according to Chandler.

    “Playing against Gunn is always our most exciting game and beating them is a great feeling, no matter what the score is,” Chandler said. “This being the last Gunn game for our seniors made us want to win even more.”

    Senior forward Courtney Lovely shared Chandler’s enthusiasm.

    “The win was amazing and a great way to start the second half of the season,” Lovely said.

    The Vikings hope to extend their winning streak to four at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Gunn against Saratoga High School (12-7, 3-4), who they lost to back in January.

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