Carrying its initial momentum until the end of the regular season, the girls basketball team finished second in its division with a 10-2 record. Now, the Vikings look to win the Central Coast Section playoffs.
In the past few weeks, the team has won games against Saratoga High, Wilcox, Los Altos High and Cupertino High and has lost to Lynbrook.
The team’s only loss in its division to the Lynbrook Vikings, who finished 11-1.
Paly’s ability to adapt its tactics based on the outcome of games has allowed them to effectively overcome opponents throughout the season.
In the second half of the season, the team began to shift away from its strategies at the beginning of the year, taking a more aggressive approach to games.
“We’re focusing more on pushing the ball early in the game and scoring early,” said junior Carly Martin, the team’s starting point guard.
While maintaining its defense-oriented strategy from the start of the season, the team started to play more aggressively in the first quarter, allowing for several high-scoring games compared to the beginning of the season.
Additionally, the team consistently scored a significant number of points in the third quarter of their games, allowing for several comeback victories.
The team’s continued strong chemistry and extensive teamwork has also been a source of motivation for the team.
“Our ability to play as one and pick each other up when we’re down has really helped us win,” said junior Elif Turgut, the Vikings’ starting small forward.
In Paly’s victory against Saratoga High on Feb. 4, the team went from a virtually scoreless 10-point first half into a 24-point 3rd quarter, which essentially won them the game.
With the season finished, the team has been preparing itself for the 2020 CCS Championship playoffs.
They plan to attack the postseason in a similar manner to their approach to the regular season.
“Just like the regular season, we’re watching videos … and scouting other teams’ offense and defense,” Turgut said.
The Vikings hold the first seed in their Division I bracket, meaning they get a bye during the first and second playoff rounds.
They played their first playoff game in the quarterfinals last Tuesday against Carlmont High School. The game resulted in a blowout victory for Paly, with a score of 64-35.
The team was able to win the game easily by focusing on crucial aspects of the game: maintaining a strong defense, getting ahead early and starting the second half strong.