CCS quarterfinal marks end of season for girls’ basketball

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    Palo Alto High School freshman guard Carly Martin darts around a Carlmont High School player for a layup yesterday at the Central Coast Section playoff quarterfinals. Carlmont, which defeated the Vikings during pre-season, also won yesterday’s game. “They [Carlmont] scored more points than our team did, but I’m very proud of our team and how hard they fought,” Paly head coach Scott Peters said. Photo: Ellie Krugler

    The season came to a close for the Palo Alto High School girls’ basketball team (17-7, 11-1) yesterday as Carlmont High School (20-7, 8-4) beat the Vikings, 47-41, in the quarterfinals of the CIF Central Coast Section Division I tournament.

    The game began with the Vikings in the lead, exhibiting high energy and good defense, including a block by freshman Ilayda Turgut.

    Paly held onto the lead during the first two periods, but as the half approached, Carlmont slowly caught up. After being tied at 17 points each, Carlmont picked up momentum and reached a lead they maintained for the rest of the game.

    According to Carlmont head coach Dan Mori, the Bruins took the advantage by using strong defense and attacks on the middle. The Vikings were unable to match Carlmont’s onslaught of baskets and free throw shots.

    “Early on, we were really tight, and we lost a lot of shots that we normally would make,” Mori said. “But really it was our defense that kept us in the game.”

    Despite Carlmont’s lead in the second half, senior guard Carly Leong fought with aggression throughout the game. Leong outraced opponents and set up speedy shots. A diving assist by sophomore forward Grace Thayer for a three-point shot by Leong brought cheers to the stands.

    According to junior forward Lauren Daniel, the Vikings showed improvement over their last matchup with Carlmont.

    “We played Carlmont earlier in the season, and this game shows how far we have come as a team,” Daniel said. “It was super cool to have the opportunity to play them again.”

    In the end, Paly’s efforts were not sufficient to advance to the semifinals like last year, but Paly head coach Scott Peters said he was proud of the girls’ performance yesterday.

    “I thought they played their hearts out, and that’s all a coach can ask for,” Peters said.

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