The Palo Alto girls basketball team had done a pretty good job of finding a way to score the first two games of the season, averaging 57 points per game in wins over South San Francisco and Aragon.
But on Thursday the Vikings encountered a stronger defensive team in Presentation and managed only 18 points through the first three quarters. By the time they righted themselves in the fourth quarter it was too late as host Presentation held on for a 49-38 victory.
“They played tough defense and took us out of our offense,’’ Palo Alto coach Scott Peters said.
Paly (2-1) trailed 28-10 at halftime, but came out and scored the first eight points of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 10.
Presentation (5-0) didn’t score in the first four minutes of the quarter, but then Palo Alto was held scoreless in the final four minutes. The Panthers proceeded to go on an 11-0 run to put the game away at 39-18 heading into the fourth quarter.
Finding their way offensively is still a work in progress for the Vikings after Annika Shah, who averaged 25 points a game last season, went down with a season-ending knee injury.
Peters was encouraged that all 11 players scored Thursday. However, other than Carly Martin, who scored 9 points on three 3-pointers, the other 10 players tallied between 2 and 4 points.
“We were getting open shots tonight but didn’t hit them,’’ Peters said. “Hit those shots and it’s a ball game.’’
Jessica Fiske and Ilaida Turgut had eight rebounds apiece. Itzel Torres, Delaney Ball and Martin each came down with seven.
“We’re trying to lay a foundation,’’ Peters said. “This game will help us get better in the long run. I think our preseason will prepare us well for league.’’