In a game that stood in stark contrast to the first meeting between the two teams, Lynbrook got off to a big lead early and never let Palo Alto mount a serious challenge in a 54-45 girls basketball game at Lynbrook.
With the win, Lynbrook (19-3, 9-1) broke a deadlock on top of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division standings. Palo Alto (14-8, 8-2) fell a game back with two league games left.
In the first game between the two, on Jan. 21, Palo Alto won 37-36 in a defensive-oriented battle. On Tuesday Lynbrook scored on five of its six possessions for a 10-2 lead and never looked back. It was 20-11 at the end of the first quarter. Lynbrook scored the first eight points of the second quarter and Paly was in the position of trying to dig its way out of a 28-11 hole.
“They got all the loose balls,’’ Palo Alto coach Scott Peters said. “They came out with more energy. We had a defensive game plan but didn’t execute it very well, and that cost us.’’
Less than two minutes into the third quarter Lynbrook, with a 37-22 lead, had already scored more points in 18 minutes than it had in the full 32 minutes in the first game at Paly.
Palo Alto finally shaved the deficit into single digits after a 3-pointer by Emily Neumann found the mark to make the score 48-40 with 1:40 left in the game.
Paly, however, by that time was in desperation mode of fouling to stop the clock and hoping Lynbrook would miss its foul shots. But that didn’t happen as the home team went 6 of 8 from the line down the stretch to put the game away.
“This was a learning lesson for our team,’’ Peters said. “In big games with first place on the line you’ve got to execute, you’ve got to be mentally prepared. It doesn’t feel good to lose. Now we’ve got to use it as motivation in practice.’’
Lynbrook point guard Maison Yee led all scorers with 25 points.