Recap: Girls’ basketball kicks off quad night with a win

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    Freshman guard Annika Shah runs the ball back to the net after intercepting an attempted rebound. The Vikings showed diligence in rushing ahead of the Gunn defense throughout the game. “I thought our energy and effort was at the level we needed,” head coach Scott Peters said. Photo: Ellie Krugler

    Sweeping the floor and claiming a victory, the Palo Alto High School girls’ basketball team (9-5, 3-0) defeated Gunn High School (2-11, 0-4) during Paly’s first matchup with the rivals in the Peery Family Center last Saturday.

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    Leaping for a shot, senior guard Carly Leong attempts to outshoot an oncoming defender. The Vikings had a 25-point lead by halftime. “By going hard from the start and not letting up, we were able to build our lead in the first half, which set the tone for the rest of the game,” junior forward Ellie Jeffries said. Photo: Ellie Krugler

    The rivalry match ended with a victory for Paly with a final score of 64-35.

    The Vikings began the first quarter with plenty of momentum. Freshman guard Annika Shah scored a number of transition layups that helped Paly open up a 16 point lead. Junior forward Ellie Jeffries and freshman guard Carly Martin both played aggressively and attacked Gunn in the paint.

    “I think we had a ton of energy from the top and that was a huge contributor to a lot of our transition plays and steals in the first half,” Jeffries said. “We also had great ball pressure and that really helped us on the defensive end.”

    Head coach Scott Peters agreed defense was a big strength on the court.

    “We kind of ran what we wanted to do defensively and made them work for their shots,” Peters said.

    By the time halftime rolled around, the Vikings were up 39-14. Thanks to senior guard Carly Leong’s onslaught of 3-point shots, Paly maintained a 28 point lead at the end of the third quarter, 49-21.

    Cheering from both sides multiplied as Gunn fought back hard during the last quarter. With copious free throws and a show of perseverance on both sides, the Titans and Vikings scored 14 and 15 points, respectively, during the last quarter. In the end, Paly took home a win, extending its undefeated streak in league play.

    “It’s always big to win a Gunn game,” Peters said. “And for our four freshmen and some of the new girls to play in front of this crowd and get a win, it’s just really fun.”

    A game with Los Gatos (8-6, 3-0) is up next for the Vikings at 6:15 p.m. this Friday at Los Gatos High School.

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