While their classmates are on holiday break, members of the Palo Alto girls' basketball team remain hard at work despite the fast-approaching holidays.
The Vikings will play for the championship of the Grant Winterfest Tournament on Monday night in Sacramento against host Grant High. After that, Paly will play at Lincoln (Stockton) on Thursday before competing in the Saratoga Shootout from Dec. 28-30.
Palo Alto (4-1) had a busy weekend in Sacramento, first defeating Galt, 56-24, before toppling Antelope Valley on Saturday, 49-29.
Paly coach Scott Peters got all 12 of his players into the scoring column against Galt. Sam Borsos and Hope Crockett had "good games" with very good defensive pressure and good offensive decisions. The Vikings grabbed a 28-9 halftime lead while limiting Galt to single-digit scoring in every quarter.
The Vikings' defense was nearly as good against Antelope Valley in a game that saw Paly score only three points in the first quarter. The Vikings, however, bounced back to grab a 20-14 halftime lead before pulling away after intermission. An 18-9 advantage in the third quarter broke things open.
Paly senior Emilee Osagiede led the way with 16 points.
"Emilee was her usual dominant self, with her all-around defense and rebounding as well as beating the press," said Peters.
Sophomores Daniel Palmer and Charlotte Alipate also played pivotal roles while taking turns defending the low post. Palmer added big baskets at the end of the third quarter and at the start of the fourth while finishing with nine points.
"Stephanie Allen had her best game of the year," said Peters. "She was instrumental in breaking the pressure from Antelope's defense, as well as creating havoc on Antelope's guards.
"We were very comfortable playing against a team like Antelope and handling their zone pressure. Our man defense really disrupted their triangle offense, making it hard for them to get comfortable on the offensive end. The fast pace of the game tired out Antelpe, which allowed us to make our run in the decisive third quarter."
In other girls' games Saturday:
Marissa Hing scored nine points and grabbed nine assists to pace Pinewood to a 56-44 nonleague victory over host Lincoln in San Jose. Monique McDevitt tallied 10 points for the Panthers (4-3) while Kendahl Wallis-Lang added nine points and Leanna Bade pulled down eight rebounds.
Also in San Jose, Sacred Heart Prep played without scoring leader Melissa Holland but still got 13 points from her sister, Meghan, in a 48-31 nonleague triumph over San Jose High. The Gators improved to 6-0 under first-year coach Ann Tafolla.
At the Presentation Shootout, Alexis Simon scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds but 33 turnovers ruined Eastside Prep's chances of victory in a 67-31 loss to Brookside Christian. Destiny Graham pulled down 11 rebounds and had three blocks for the Panthers (4-5), who played without junior standout Hashima Carothers.
At the Menlo Holiday Tournament, Drew Edelman and Kaelen Dunn combined for 36 points as the host Knights rolled to a 56-45 victory over Mercy-Burlingame. Menlo (2-1) jumped out to a 39-15 halftime lead and was led by Edelman, who once again had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Dunn, also a junior, proved to be the difference as she scored 15 points in the first half. Malia Bates pulled down six rebounds for Menlo while Lauren Lete grabbed eight rebounds and added five assists.
Next up for Menlo is a Tuesday night game at the prestigious Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions. The Knights will face San Marcos at Los Alamitos High at 7:30 p.m.
With 6-foot-4 senior Malik Gill scoring a season-high 15 points and 6-6 senior Keenan Venuti adding a season-best 14 points, Gunn opened play in the Fremont-Sunnyvale Holiday Classic with a 45-27 drubbing of Tennyson on Saturday.
Sacred Heart Prep completed its preseason schedule on a positive note following a 3-0 nonleague triumph over host Soquel on Saturday night. The Gators (3-0-2) got the winning goal on a penalty kick by Brendan Spillane in the first half.
At the Homestead Christmas Cup, Gunn (2-2-2) dropped a 3-0 decision to Lincoln (San Jose).
Despite grabbing a 2-0 lead in the first half, Sacred Heart Prep let it get away and had to settle for a 3-3 nonleague deadlock with visiting Willow Glen on Saturday. Junior Kendall Jager gave the Gators (1-2-3) a two-goal lead before the Rams tied it at the half. SHP's Leda Espinoza put the Gators back on top in the second half, only to see Willow Glen rally to tie.