Palo Alto turns up the heat in girls' basketball victory


On paper, it looked like a decent matchup: the 3-1 Palo Alto girls at 4-2 Leigh.

But Leigh lost its best basketball player to injury in its last game and Thursday’s nonleague matchup was no contest as Palo Alto had an easy time of it in a 63-29 victory.

Palo Alto unleashed a double-team trap that completely took the Longhorns out of their game. Paly forced 10 turnovers in each of the first two quarters and 33 for the game.

“With their best player out they didn’t have that calming influence,’’ Palo Alto coach Scott Peters said. “That’s why we thought we could turn on the pressure.’’

The score was 10-10 late in the first quarter. But that was before the Vikings went on a 17-0 run to blow the game open. The score was 32-14 at halftime.

Eighteen of Leigh’s first 23 possessions resulted in turnovers. The Vikings were plus-25 for the game on turnovers (33-8) and plus-36 on field-goal attempts (63-27).

Skylar Burris led Palo Alto with 17 points, all in the first three quarters.

“The thing about Skylar is she does so many things for us,’’ Peters said. “She takes charges, is always talking on defense. She does a lot of the little things. When we get points from her it’s just an added bonus.’’

Lauren Koyama scored 13 points, making three 3-pointers. Carly Leong, Palo Alto’s leading scorer on the season, scored 12.

Burris, Koyama and Leong were interchangeable parts, sharing the ball-handling duties. That’s the way Peters likes it.

“If you have just one point guard it’s easier for the defense to take that away,’’ Peters said. “The more players that can handle the ball the better.’’

The Vikings (4-1) play Lowell-SF (6-5) in the first round of the Saint Francis tournament Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Priory vs. Woodside

Ila Lane recorded 18 points and had 14 rebounds to help Priory capture the title of the Woodside Holiday tournament Thursday.

Tatiana Reese, who was named the tournament MVP, added 15 points. Lane and Lala Nui were also added to the all-tournament team.

The Panthers (6-2) play Sacred Heart Cathedral (4-2) on Tuesday as part of the West Coast Jamboree Challenge. Game time is 6:30 p.m. at Heritage High in Brentwood.

The Irish will become the third team Priory faces from the WCAL. The Panthers are currently 1-1 against the league, losing to St. Ignatius and beating St. Francis.

Priory enters the game on a six-game winning streak while SH Cathedral has lost its last two games, both to high caliber opponents in St. Mary's-Stockton and Cardinal Newman.

The Panthers also meet Brea Olinda (6-2), the defending state Division I champion, on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Los Positas College in Livermore.

Other Wednesday pairings in the Gold Division include Antelope (5-1) vs. Heritage (5-0) at 9:30 a.m., Narbonne (4-2) vs. Vanden (3-3) at 12:30 p.m. and Manteca (3-5) vs. Campolindo (9-2) at 2 p.m.

Gunn vs. Dublin

For a while there, it looked like former Gunn coach Hans de Lannoy was going to show his former team how it was done.

The Titans (5-3) had other ideas and stormed back from an early deficit to beat visiting Dublin, 68-43, Thursday.

Dublin beat Palo Alto, 55-49, in the first round of the Northern regional playoffs last year.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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