By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Alec Wong knows exactly where all of his Palo Alto boys' basketball teammates will be at 7 p.m. Friday night.
"Watching the football game, of course," he said without hesitation. "We're all behind them and they know it."
Wong hopes to have plenty to celebrate next week: an undefeated football season and a full complement of basketball players.
With five players out due to their commitment to football, first-year Palo Alto coach Adam Sax has had to make do with seven players through six games. He's somehow worked some magic.
Following Thursday night's 59-41 victory over host Woodside in a nonleague game, the Vikings have won five of those six games.
There may be one more game without reinforcements and that's Saturday's 7 p.m. contest against visiting Willow Glen.
"It's been tough but we've been going through extra conditioning to help work through it," Wong said. "It's been great for the sophomores. It was important to get them playing time this early in the season to get them ready for the speed and different tempo."
It may be more important than ever now that senior Max Schmarzo appears to be headed for the sideline for at least a few days if not the season.
Schmarzo fell in a heap after getting fouled on a play under his own basket. It appeared to be a high left ankle sprain, though it was difficult to determine the extent of the injury. It was pretty obvious he was in a lot of pain.
Schmarzo left the game with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter and eventually left the gym under the guidance of a few family members.
That left the game in the capable hands of three juniors and three sophomores. The Wildcats during within 45-35 early in the fourth quarter but that was as close as they would come.
Sophomore E.J. Floreal carried the scoring load for the Vikings, scoring 20 points. He was also the unofficial rebounding leader for the game.
Schmarzo had 12 points and Israel Hakim added 10 points.
At the annual Fremont-Sunnyvale Holiday Tournament, Gunn (5-3) opened with a solid 50-38 victory over Overfelt on Thursday night. Matt Redfield tallied 15 points for the Titans, giving him 31 in the past two games. Jack Hannan added 10. Gunn next will play Cupertino on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Fremont High.
In another opener, Pinewood suffered a 62-53 overtime loss to Wilcox as the Chargers outscored the Panthers in the extra period, 10-1. Cameron Helvey tallied 18 points to lead the Panthers (6-1) while Dante Fraioli and Solomone Wolfgramm each tallied 12 points.
Menlo-Atherton made 14 three-pointers while shooting down visiting San Lorenzo Valley, 76-49, in a nonleague game on Thursday night. Junior guard Ian Proulx led the Bears (5-2) with 15 points while senior Marquis Tolson added 13 and senior Myles Brewer had 11. Freshman guard Royce Branning dished out four assists with Tolson and Proulx combining for 13 rebounds.
Gunn opened the KSA Tournament with a 60-37 victory over J.J. Kelly of Virginia in Orlando, Fla. Sophomore Claire Klausner scored 18 points with seven steals and two assists while freshman Zoe Zwerling added 16 points with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Cat Perez contributed 12 points and nine rebounds with two blocks as Gunn shot 51 percent from the field, had 20 steals and turned the ball over only nine times.