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Vikings defeat Scots in CCS quarterfinals

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Andrew Zhao
Palo Alto High School Viking senior Alaap Nair defends against a Carlmont High School Scots player during its first Central Coast Section single elimination game on Tuesday. The Vikings won 59-52 against the Scots in a tight game with a combined total of 20 3-pointers. Vikings coach Jeff LaMere said the Vikings played a consistent game and were able to keep the intensity up through the critical match. “We want to be energy givers, not energy takers,” LaMere said. “Regardless of how many minutes you’re playing, whatever you’re doing, you’re on the bench or in the game, be an energy giver.” (Photo: Andrew Zhao)

In a high stakes CCS game, the Palo Alto High School boys’ basketball team (8-4) defeated the Carlmont Scots (7-3), 59-52, in Tuesday’s Division 1 quarterfinals at home.

This game followed second round of the Central Coast Section where the Carlmont Scots had a blowout win over the Los Altos Eagles (5-7) 75-58. The Vikings are the fourth seed in Division 1, thus they earned a “bye” in the first two rounds of the tournament. 

The game started hot for the Vikings, with senior shooting guard Riley Yuen scoring five straight points. Junior small forward Jorell Clark also had two back-to-back layups to increase the Vikings’ lead. However, shots by Scots’ guards decreased the deficit in the remaining minute of the quarter, ending it 18-11. 

The second quarter started with back-and-forth action from both teams. Unfortunately for the Vikings, the Scots got comfortable from behind the arc and started scoring 3-pointers left and right.  The Scots totaled six 3-pointers in the second quarter alone, half of which were from junior guard Camden Ngo. The Scots put up an impressive 23 points in the second quarter, setting the score at 33-34 going into the second half.

Ozorio said the main adjustment the Scots made going into the second half was to lock in on defense and restrict the Vikings from shooting around the perimeter. 

“I felt we made the right adjustments in the second half,” Ozorio said. “In the first half, I think they [the Vikings] probably had like seven or eight threes [3-pointers], which really hurt. We tried to make adjustments in the second half to take those away and [I think] we did that.”

The third quarter saw both teams trade shots back and forth. This quarter was a dominant defensive stand by each team, seeing far less scoring than the previous quarter and only one 3-pointer. Clark had 5 points in the quarter, helping the Vikings end the quarter up 42-41. 

The fourth quarter was dominated by the Vikings who knocked down point after point to stretch their lead to 10. The Vikings were in front for the entire quarter so late in the fourth, the Scots had to start fouling to attempt to keep the game close. However, the Vikings players still remained strong with close free throws. 

Viking junior guard Gavin Haase sealed the victory with a late 3-pointer, earning a win for the Vikings, 59-52.

According to Viking junior Jorell Clark, their victory over the Scots is the result of the collaborative effort of the team as a whole. 

“I’m excited with the team’s performance,” Clark said. “Everybody played great. Everybody’s hitting shots. That’s the reason we were able to come through: not just one person, everybody.” 

Viking head coach Jeff LaMere said that there were difficulties with starting playoffs with a two-round bye. 

“We had one day of prep on Monday for them [Carlmont],” LaMere said. “So, you got to go in there relying on your principles.”

According to Scots head coach Ron Ozorio, preparing for a CCS game is different from a regular league game. 

“It’s all good teams left,” Ozorio said. “They’re all scouted very well, so they’re prepared for whatever you’re doing. Whatever you’re doing, they’re going to try and take it away. And, so, it’s more of a chess match than a regular season game.” 

LaMere said he’s excited for their upcoming game against the Menlo Atherton, after losing 42-61 to the Bears earlier in the season.

“In the playoffs, you’re always gonna play good teams, and I’m excited to be playing the No. 1 seed,” LaMere said. “I’m glad that it’s MA [Menlo Atherton], a team that’s a rival of ours, so I look forward to Thursday.”

The Vikings face the Bears (7-3) at 7 p.m. today for the CCS semifinals at Menlo Atherton High School.

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About the Contributors
Kevin O'Brien, Sports Editor
Kevin O'Brien (Class of 2026) joined The Paly Voice in his sophomore year. Outside of journalism, he enjoys playing basketball and football.
Andrew Zhao, Culture Editor
Andrew Zhao (Class of 2026) joined The Voice in his sophomore year and enjoys playing tennis and water polo.

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