The Palo Alto High School girls basketball team has maintained its winning record with a recent 49-34 victory over rival Henry M. Gunn High School, as well as one in overtime against Mountain View High School. With a 3-2 record in the De Anza League (DAL), the team is currently in second place, behind Los Gatos but ahead of Los Altos.
Leading the team in scoring is junior Lauren Koyama, who averages 10 points per game. She is followed by senior Alexis Harris, who averages 9.1 points per game, and senior Coco Lovely, who averages 8.7 points per game. With all six players averaging over five points per game, Paly girls basketball is looking to defeat its opponents through sharing the scoring load and playing off of each other’s strengths.
Playing in Gunn’s gym, hundreds of both Paly and Gunn fans led cheers as the crosstown rivals went head to head. Leading the way with 11 points was Lovely, with junior Maya Lathi close behind with eight, followed by senior Maddy Atwater with seven and junior Skylar Burris with five.
Given that Paly and Gunn no longer play each other in football, dedicated fans look to keep the sports rivalry alive by attending contentious the Paly versus Gunn basketball games.
“Playing Gunn was the best experience I’ve ever had playing a basketball game,” Burris said. “The crowd was amazing and taking home the win definitely added to the adrenaline high.”
On Jan. 19, the team experience their closest game of the season. The Vikings defeated the host team, Mountain View, in a narrow 46-43 overtime victory. With seven different players scoring three or more points, the team proved that they are most successful when they share the scoring
Averaging a staggering 52.2 points per game, on 34 percent field goal shooting, this season the Vikings are crushing the national average of 45 points per game. This can likely be attributed to the team’s willingness to follow coach Scott Peters’ game plan, while playing in a selfless manner, averaging as shown by the Vikings nearly eight assists per game.
The team-oriented style is not only evident in how they score or pass, but in how they play rebound. Averaging 23 rebounds per game, six of the 11 players on the team average two or more rebounds per game. Additionally, seven of the players evenly share the 1.3 blocks per game, with Harris and freshman Ellie Jeffries leading the way in that category.
Currently, the Vikings sit in second place with five games under their belts. However, they went into the season hoping to go undefeated against other teams in the DAL.
“We definitely aren’t playing as well as we expected, and that really is too bad,” Burris said. “But we’re getting back into the groove of things. We’d rather peak in postseason than preseason, so I’m excited for what’s to come.”
With the Central Coast Sectional playoffs a month away, the team hopes to find success through their team-oriented basketball play.