It’s no secret Paly athletes pay close attention to the dates Los Gatos High School shows up on their schedule. Three weeks ago, the Paly boys’ basketball team (19-2, 9-0) defeated the Los Gatos boys’ basketball team (16-5, 7-2) on the road in stunning fashion. Falling behind in regulation and the first overtime, the boys fought back to tie the game with late free throws twice, eventually winning in double overtime, 77-68.
This Friday, the Vikings have a chance to clinch their second straight De Anza League title against Los Gatos, the current second place team in the DAL.
“It makes the game that much more important because we have a chance to put a banner on the wall and that is a special honor that none of us will forget,” senior guard Will Schmutz said.
Last matchup, seniors Dylan Belquist and Alex Braken-Guelke accounted for 41 of the Wildcats’ 68 points. According to senior forward Max Dorward, Paly can’t get too caught up in trying to prevent Belquist and Braken-Guelke from getting theirs.
“We know they have two main guys we have to stop but also make sure none of their role players get going either,” Dorward said.
In the Jan. 19 meeting, Palo Alto led early but failed to keep its intensity up and allowed Los Gatos to claw its way back and take control of the game.
“We have to play well and stick to our game plan,” Dorward said. “We had a stretch where we didn’t capitalize on our offensive possessions and turned the ball over which lead to their come back. If we take care of the ball we’ll be able to make the most of our opportunities.”
The Vikings defeated Homestead High School (8-14, 3-7), 69-54, on Wed., while Los Gatos took down Cupertino High School (14-8, 5-5), 57-40.
The teams face off Fri. 7:45 p.m. at the Peery Family Center.