Girls’ basketball aids Quad Night sweep with destruction of Gunn
Senior forward Skylar Burris grabs the rebound and sprints down the court and the Palo Alto High School student section quickly rises to its feet, excited to see what she will do next. Burris attacks the hoop and finishes off her layup, scoring two of her game-high 31 points, and the student section erupts into cheer as the Paly girls’ basketball team (14-3, 7-0) continues the onslaught of the Gunn High School Titans (9-10, 3-4). Led by Burris and a strong defensive performance in the second and third quarter, the Vikings were able to steamroll the Titans, 61-45.
Burris led the Vikings to a dominant victory, leading the team in scoring, whilst grabbing six rebounds, two assists and a steal.
“My team needed me to score this game, so I knew I had to step up to do so,” Burris said. “I was sent to the free throw line a lot last night, so a lot of my baskets were easy points.”
Junior Carly Leong filled up the stat-sheet, scoring 10 points, collecting five rebounds and dishing five assists. Leong also had a massive impact on the defensive side of the ball, with a block and a steal.
Leong and the Vikings capitalized on their dominant second quarter, where their defensive intensity limited the Titans to only five points in the quarter, and helped the Vikings take an eight point lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Vikings hoped to prevent second chance points for the Titans by rebounding well, according to senior Maya Lathi.
“We knew that if we wanted to win we would have to keep them off the boards,” Lathi said. “I think we executed our defense and passed the ball really well.”
In a dominant third quarter where the Vikings outscored the Titans 20-11, Burris’ hot shooting meant secured the nail in the coffin for the Titans.
Following the win, Burris reflected on her final “Quad Night” as a member of the Paly girls’ basketball team.
“It’s weird for sure,” Burris said. “I thought it was going to be a lot more emotional for me, but we still have the rest of league to get ready for so besides the fans, it’s just another game. Compared to the past three years [of games against Gunn], this was one of the most fun. As a team we played great basketball and moved the ball well — it’s just an added bonus that so many people came out to support us.”
Burris had some takeaways after the game on both sides of the ball.
“We didn’t hit our shots like we usually do, and there were definitely some mistakes on the offensive end,” Burris said. “However, it proves to us that we can shut down a team on defense and work hard to convert those extra possessions to baskets.”
The girls play their next game Wednesday at Mountain View High School (12-6, 4-3), who the Vikings easily dispatched, 61-47, in their previous match up.