The boys basketball team’s journey to a Central Coast Section (CCS) victory was tragically cut short when they lost with a score of 54-50 in an upset against Cupertino High School in the first round of the tournament on Feb. 27.
Though they battled ferociously, the Vikings could not secure the win against Cupertino. Up until the fourth quarter, the two teams fought evenly. Cupertino managed to pull through with the win that pushed them to the next round of CCS playoffs.
The team started out strong, ending the first quarter with a lead of 17-13. During the second quarter, the boys fell behind by a sizable margin that proved detrimental. The team scored six points, to Cupertino’s 17.
The boys scored more points in the third and fourth quarter than Cupertino, but it was not enough for them to recover from the second quarter slump.
The Vikings scored two more points in the third quarter than Cupertino.
In the fourth quarter, Paly scored one more point than Cupertino and fought hard to keep up, but they were not able to increase their lead by enough.
According to sophomore Max Dorward, the Vikings lost because they suffered from subpar defense that Cupertino took advantage of and found many open outside shots to win the game.
We have a young team, and we are all excited for next season because we have a lot of talent.
Spencer Rojahn Sophomore
“We didn’t do as well as we’d have liked on the defensive side, especially guarding their shooter,” Dorward said. “We lost him too many times and left him open with good looks.”
The team did quite well in the regular season, many games were played everyday by both teams.
“We playedpretty well throughout the season,” sophomore Spencer Rojahn said. “But we had many tough games that could have gone either way. In the close games, we missed shots and the other team made shots.”
The team is stacked with underclassmen that carry impressive ability, which should sustain and hopefully heighten the team’s future success.
“We have a young team, and we are all excited for next season because we have a lot of talent,” Rojahn said.
As the first season Diepenbrock has coached in years, he now knows where there is room for improvement for the boys in order to secure a better record next season.
“Overall I think the season was up and down,” Diepenbrock said.”We had some good wins and some very tough losses. But we got lots of young underclassmen and some really good game experience.”
The boys finished their regular season with a 16-8 record similar to that of their previous season (17-7). This was a season to figure out how the team functioned with a new coach.
One of the flaws in the team’s play that was evident this season was the lack of defense, which led to an excessive amount of outside shots by opposing teams. This made the difference between a loss and a win in many games this season for the Vikings.
“Overall, teams shot very well against us and we couldn’t defend the 3-point shooting,” Rojahn said.
Members of the team enjoy spending time with each other, which reflects in the fluidity of play on the court.
“Our team has very good chemistry,” Rojahn said. “So we get along super well and have a lot of fun.
Justin Hull is the only player on the team graduating this year. Hull wishes the team well for next year.
“I would just tell them to stay together and enjoy everything as much as [they] can,” Hull said.
The team will need to find a replacement for Hull in the upcoming season. Paly hopes to see the team improve next season under the meticulous and passionate coaching of Peter Diepenbrock.