The Palo Alto High School girls’ basketball team (7-2, 1-0) triumphed over the Saratoga High School Falcons (9-4, 0-1) in its De Anza League opener with a score of 81-46.
The Vikings came out trigger happy, going on a 12-4 run in the first quarter, fueled by three-point shots from senior point guard Julie Chandler and senior guard Skylar Burris.
“From the beginning, we knew we wanted to get shots up quick in transition, and I think we were able to do that well,” Burris said.
Paly built its point advantage early in the first quarter, giving it an 8-point lead heading into the second quarter.
The Vikings continued to attack from the three point line, with sophomore shooting guard Ellie Jefferies and senior point guard Lauren Koyama both contributing to the continuous barrage from a distance.
Koyama put the exclamation point on the lead, as she drilled a step back three point shot to end the half, sending the Vikings into the locker room with a 41-23 lead.
“During a timeout, we decided to step up the intensity, and started hitting our shots, helping on defense more, and just getting our energy up,” Koyama said.
Junior guard Carly Leong carried the team in both the third and fourth quarters, scoring from all over the court.
“Always shoot your shot especially when you are open,” Leong said. “I was glad Ellie [Jefferies] had a bunch of threes in the first quarter. Hopefully that gained [helped her gain] more confidence so she shoots more because she is a great shooter.”
Leong’s strong second half performance allowed the Vikings to coast to their first league victory of the season and head coach Scott Peter’s 200th victory.
“This win is going to set a precedent for the rest of the year; we need to go into every game with the same energy and the same grind mentality,” Burris said. “Going into the game against Gunn, it’ll be good to have this win under our belt. We are already super excited to play Gunn. It just adds to the building momentum.”
The Vikings will face off against cross-town rivals, the Gunn Titans (7-5, 1-0), at 6:15 p.m. on Friday at the Gunn gym for the infamous “Quad Night.”