Season Preview: Girls’ basketball team hopeful despite losing players

Junior+Annika+Shah+watches+as+her+shot+sinks+into+the+net+in+a+game+against+Santa+Clara+High+School+last+season.+This+year%2C+due+to+an+injury%2C+Annika+will+not+be+returning+to+compete+with+her+teammates.+%22We+have+no+seniors%2C+and+we+lost+our+best+player+for+this+year%2C+Annika+Shah%2C%22+Head+Coach+Scott+Peters+said.+%22We%27re+going+to+rely+on+our+juniors+to+help+us+pick+up+the+slack+and+be+leaders+for+our+team.%22

Junior Annika Shah watches as her shot sinks into the net in a game against Santa Clara High School last season. This year, due to an injury, Annika will not be returning to compete with her teammates. "We have no seniors, and we lost our best player for this year, Annika Shah," Head Coach Scott Peters said. "We're going to rely on our juniors to help us pick up the slack and be leaders for our team."

Sophia Krugler, Staff Writer

Junior Annika Shah watches as her shot sinks into the net in a game against Santa Clara High School last season. This year, due to an injury, Shah will not be returning to compete with her teammates, marking yet another setback for the team. “We have no seniors, and we lost our best player for this year, Annika Shah,” Head Coach Scott Peters said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores and they’re [the juniors are] gonna have to lead us in order for us to be successful.” Photo: Ellie Krugler

The Palo Alto High School girls’ varsity basketball team remains optimistic despite heading into its season with no seniors on its roster and the loss of a key player.

Last season, the team won the De Anza Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League and advanced to the Division 1 Central Coast Section championship match, and Head Coach Scott Peters hopes this season will be just as successful. However, the Vikings already face several setbacks: Four players graduated, two players did not return after their junior season, and star player junior Annika Shah cannot compete due to an injury.

With only six returning varsity players and no seniors, Peters said he is looking to his few upperclassmen to lead.

“We’re going to rely on Carly Martin and Elif Turgut and Illayda Turgut our juniors

 — to help us pick up the slack and be leaders for our team,” Peters said. 

Junior Carly Martin, who has been on the varsity team since her freshman year, said that the team needs to work on its communication to be successful. However, she also anticipates that the team will be very competitive in the future once the players build chemistry. 

“I think that our main goal this year is focusing on creating a cohesive community,” Martin said. “We will all be together next year since there are no seniors on the team and by doing this, we will be even stronger.”

Although the team is young, with five freshmen, Peters said that the underclassmen have already shown a lot of depth, something he hopes will contribute to the team’s success.

“We have a lot of strong, young players,” Peters said. “We could have competition for every position throughout the season. [If] that competition at practice and so forth pushes us to get better, then we really have something powerful.

The Vikings will face off against South San Francisco High School in a non-conference game 7 p.m. Thursday at Paly.