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Girls basketball poised to win CCS tournament

After losing to Los Gatos High School in the last game of the regular De Anza League season, Palo Alto High School’s girls basketball team is ready to head into Central Coast Section (CCS) Playoffs.

The Vikings Honored their seniors on Senior Night against Los Gatos Maddy Atwater, Coco Lovely and Alexis Harris, the Vikings played a hard, scrappy final game, ultimately losing 43-36.

“We were a bit upset to not come up with a win, especially for our seniors, but it was a hard fought game to the end,” junior Skylar Burris said.

Finishing up De Anza League play 9-3, the Vikings fall into second place behind Los Gatos High School and ahead of Mountain View High School. Ultimately, the team relied on their teamwork and well executed post plays to pull off many of those key victories.

“We definitely worked on getting the ball in down low, which is where we are the biggest threat,” Burris said. “We went through some tough losses which only brought us together and reminded us that we have to work for every win and can’t walk into the gym expecting to beat every team.”

Leading the team in scoring this season was junior Lauren Koyama, who averaged 10 points per game. Followed by senior Alexis Harris, who averaged nine points per game, and senior Coco Lovely, who averaged 8.7 points per game. In addition to a strong post oriented offense, the Vikings relied on 6 players all averaging over five points per game.

The team averaged a strong 52.2 points per game, on 34 percent field goal shooting. In addition to strong post plays and team oriented offense, the high scoring this season can likely be attributed to the team’s willingness to follow coach Scott Peters’ game plan, while playing focussing on a selfless style of play, averaging close to eight assists per game.

While the team’s season has been generally successful with a strong record and sound strategies, the Vikings hope to address several issues that they hope to avoid during CCS Playoffs. If the girls want to succeed in the playoffs, they need to remedy these issues.

“Sometimes we’ll lose our heads and fall behind, basically digging ourselves a hole,” Burris said. “We let the refs or the fans or even the other players get in our heads, and we just to need to remember that we’ll only win if we keep playing as a team and put everything we can on the floor.”

Paly’s girls basketball team not only qualified for CCS Playoffs, but with a bye in the first round, the team will not play their first game of the playoffs until either Feb. 26 or 27. With lofty hopes for the playoffs and a first seed in Division 1, the Paly girls basketball team is excited to play any team thrown their way.

“At this point we just want to win. No matter who we play, we’re going to go into the game to get it done and bring back a D1 championship for Paly,” Burris said.

With a successful season thus far and a proven team strategy based on teamwork and post centric offense, the sky’s the limit for how Paly’s girls basketball team will do.

“In all honesty I think we can go all the way this year,” Burris said. “As long as we stick to the game plan and give it our all.”A

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