Preview: Boys’ basketball faces tough test on the road

    The keys to success in basketball are consistency and showing up ready to play with 100 percent effort each time your team steps on the court.

    This message is one that varsity boys’ basketball head coach Peter Diepenbrock has echoed to his team the past few weeks.

    “Our motivation comes from our goal to be the best team we can be,” Diepenbrock said. “So each night we are striving to play our best game of the season and improve in every area.”

    On Saturday, the Vikings (17-2, 8-0) head down Middlefield Road to take on the Menlo-Atherton Bears (14-4, 6-1) at 6 p.m. The Bears present the toughest opponent for the Vikings since their last loss at the Saint Francis Lancers (15-4, 6-3) on Dec. 30th.

    Diepenbrock believes the key to the Vikings’ success on Saturday will depend on their ability to shut down Menlo-Atherton’s star guard, senior Eric Norton. Norton was voted Most Valuable Player of the Peninsula South Basketball League his junior year, and his strong play has continued in this season.

    Palo Alto Children's Theatre Outreach, Aladdin, Palo Alto, CA: January 28, 2017

    Junior Jared Wulbrun looks for the open man against rival Gunn. Photo by David Hickey

    Tuesday’s matchup at Los Altos proved to be a bumpy contest for the Vikings, before prevailing, 66-61, in double overtime.

    “The game should have been over in regulation,” junior forward William Schlemmer said. “We didn’t make our free throws and we didn’t make our possessions count.”

    Diepenbrock hopes the sloppy game on Tuesday can be a lesson for the team in their upcoming games.

    “Hopefully the experience of Tuesday night will help us be a better finishing team moving forward,” Diepenbrock said. “We need to rebound for 32 minutes.”

    The Vikings will have to execute and remain composed in a hostile game environment. Diepenbrock believes the game will have an electrifying playoff atmosphere and encourages all Viking faithful to make to trip and support their Vikes.

    Palo Alto also has a league game on Friday night against the Wilcox Chargers (9-9, 4-3), who they trounced in their first meeting, 75-54.

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