Whether the Vikings can do it again will depend on the outcome of Friday's showdown with unbeaten Wilcox on the Chargers' floor at 6:15 p.m.
While Wilcox was just another opponent for Paly last season, the Chargers (2-0, 12-0) are more formidable with addition of 6-foot-3 transfer Joeseta Fatuesi from Presentation.
Fatuesi scored 25 points in a 58-50 win over Gunn last week and will provide Palo Alto (3-0, 10-2) with a real test on Friday.
"I think Wilcox will be a good challenge as you have to game plan for Joeseta, and that creates opportunities for her teammates," said Paly coach Scott Peters. "However, I like the fact that we have a number of players who can score on any night and I think that makes us tough to guard."
Gunn discovered how tough on Wednesday as Paly rolled to a 65-49 victory to remain tied for first place in the division.
The Vikings defeated the Titans (0-2, 6-5) three times last season and now have won four straight against their rival.
"I was very happy with our energy and composure," said Peters, who said his team played its best game of the year.
Paly's defense and the inside presence of senior Emilee Osagiede proved to be the difference.
"More importantly, she showed great leadership with her energy and effort to lead the team to victory over a veteran Gunn team," Peters said.
Osagiede scored 11 of her team's 14 points in a decisive third quarter as the Vikings grabbed a 57-34 advantage that allowed Paly to coast to the finish line and have Peters get all his players some time on the court.
Osagiede also held Gunn scoring leader Cat Perez to just seven points over three quarters, including zero points in the crucial third period. Perez scored five points in the fourth quarter with Osagiede on the bench.
"Team effort was demonstrated by the fact that different players each came into the game to spark the team in different quarters," Peters explained.
Paly sophomore Danielle Palmer, for example, scored all eight of her points in the first quarter while senior Sam Borsos, who missed last year's games with Gunn due to concussion issues, sparked the Vikings with five points in the second quarter. Annie Susco also had four points in the second quarter.
Paly senior Lindsay Black scored only three points but disrupted the Gunn offense that saw guards Zoe Zwerling and Claire Klausner limited to a combined 11 points.
Paly's Stephanie Allen controlled the offense and made good decisions while fellow junior Josie Butler teamed with Osagiede to control the boards.
"I thought we dictated the tempo of the game and did what we had prepared to do," Peters said. "We had seen that Gunn played some man against Wilcox on Friday so when they went to man defense, we executed our game plan and attacked the basket.
"When Gunn switched to a different zone then they normally run, I was proud of the way we adjusted and attacked that zone the way we wanted to, as well."
In a West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) opener on Tuesday, Sacred Heart Prep pulled off the shocker of the season by upsetting defending CIF State Division V champion Pinewood, 37-28. The Gators (1-0, 10-4) reportedly last beat the Panthers (0-1, 10-5) in 1997, a 55-52 victory in the Central Coast Section Division V title game.
Sacred Heart's defense limited Pinewood to single-digit scoring over the final three periods while the Gators pulled away with a five-point bulge (11-6) in the third quarter.
Helen Gannon (12 points) and Meghan Holland (11) sparked the big victory with Melissa Holland adding 10 points. Kelly Doran led Pinewood with 12 points while teammate Leeana Bade pulled down 12 rebounds.
Pinewood made only 18 percent of its field goals (9 of 51) with all but one coming from three-point range.
"It wasn't shocking that we lost," said Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler. "We couldn't finish plays. We got shots, but ice cold. They played an extended 2-3 (zone)"
The loss for Pinewood is only its third in league play since 1995, during which the Panthers have gone 167-3. Sacred Heart Prep is the first team other than Eastside Prep to beat Pinewood in league play since Notre Dame-San Jose toppled the Panthers, 64-45, on Feb. 7, 1995.
In San Jose, the one-two punch of Drew Edelman and Lauren Lete proved too much for host Notre Dame-San Jose as Menlo School posted a 67-60 overtime victory in the WBAL (Foothill Division) on Tuesday. Menlo (1-0, 10-4) outplayed Notre Dame in overtime, outscoring the Regents by 12-5.
The game was close the entire way as Notre Dame hit one three-pointer after another for a total of 14 treys. Menlo's lone three-pointer came from Lete at the end of the fourth quarter to tie the game. Lete finished with 20 points and six assists while Junior center Drew Edelman had 30 points and 12 rebounds. She came into the game averaging 22 points and 19 rebounds per game. Another key contributer for Menlo was Maddy Price, who scored seven points and had two blocks.
In San Francisco, Eastside Prep opened its WBAL Foothill Division season with a 54-37 loss to Mercy-San Francisco as the co-champion Panthers fell to 6-9 overall.
In Atherton, Menlo-Atherton continued its recent strong of solid efforts with a 48-41 victory over Half Moon Bay in a PAL Bay Division opener. The Bears (1-0, 7-8) won their fourth straight as Tennyson Jellins tallied 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Courtnie Roache added 12 points. Erin LaPorte knocked down a pair of three-pointers and solid tough defense, which included holding the Cougars to just two points in the third quarter as M-A grabbed a 40-25 lead.
Palo Alto won its fifth straight over Gunn by running away with a 56-38 triumph in SCVAL De Anza Division action Wednesday. Senior Israel Hakim led the way with 17 points while juniors E.J. Floreal and Aubrey Dawkins combined for 22.
The Titans (0-2, 6-8) trailed by only four after one period but scored only 15 points over the next two quarters as the Vikings took a 47-26 lead into the final period.
Palo Alto (2-1, 12-2) still trails first-place Mountain View by one game after the Spartans routed Los Gatos on Wednesday, 61-31.
In the only other game played Wednesday, the Menlo-Atherton boys opened their PAL Ocean Division season with a 45-42 loss to visiting Half Moon Bay. The Bears (0-1, 7-7) got 13 points from Ian Proulx and Miles Weiss plus seven rebounds from Dominic Tully. M-A trailed by 28-18 at halftime before making a game of it in the fourth period.
In West Bay Athletic League action Tuesday, the gap between Sacred Heart Prep and Pinewood teams may be closer than most people believe after the host Panthers rallied to beat the Gators, 67-64, in a showdown that pitted defending Central Coast Section Division IV and V champions.
Defending league champ Sacred Heart Prep (2-1, 9-3) trailed after the first and second quarters, but overcome a six-point deficit with a 22-point third quarter to take a three-point lead into the final period before the Panthers (2-0, 11-1) rallied to maintain their hold on first place.
With Pinewood standout Solomone Wolfgramm on the bench after having fouled out with five minutes to play in the game and Pinewood down six points, the Panthers rallied behind 13 fourth-quarter points by senior Dante Fraioli, who finished with a game-high 23 points.
Wolfgramm had 13 points and 11 rebounds, but Fraioli and senior point guard Bradley Naumann led the comeback as they combined for 7-of-12 from the three-point line for 37 points while also tag-teaming to hold Sacred Heart Prep standout Cole McConnell to 3-of-11 shooting and just nine points as the Gators saw their six-game win streak end.
Naumann finished with 14 points, making one of two free throws with 14 seconds to play to give the Panthers their final three-point lead. Matt McNamara led SHP with 12. Kevin Donahoe had a chance to tie the game with a last-second shot, which fell short.
Pinewood will play for undisputed possession of first place on Friday against host Menlo School at 7:30 p.m.
The Knights (3-0, 10-3) set the stage for that showdown by holding off visiting Eastside Prep, 41-33, on Tuesday. Menlo fought off the Panthers' third-quarter charge as senior Jackson Dean ignited a late run for the Knights.
Menlo held an early 12-point lead and led by eight at the half before Eastside chipped away its deficit to 34-31 in the third quarter. In the fourth, Dean forced a turnover that led to junior Andrew Schmitt's layup and started a 7-2 Menlo run.
"We are seeing that we have to be ready for any and everything," said Menlo coach Delandro Leday. "The game was slow-paced, which we are getting accustomed to, grinding it out if necessary."
Seniors Richard Harris (eight points, 10 rebounds), Freddy Avis (nine points) and Will Miller (eight points) also paved the way for Menlo.
In Portola Valley, host Priory dropped a 61-47 decision to Harker in WBAL action. The Panthers (0-1, 4-2) fell behind by 37-14 at halftime and never recovered. Gabor Somogyi tallied 13 points for the Panthers with Michael Nimer adding 12.
In the Private School Athletic League (North Division), Mid-Peninsula (3-0, 7-0) got 39 points from Ben Fuji-Rios in a 58-54 victory over visiting Alma Heights.