Vikings overcome slow start, clip Spartans 41-30

Aldis+Petriceks+%28%2713%29+flies+by+a+Mountain+View+defender.+Petriceks+and+the+Paly+boys%E2%80%99+basketball+team+defeated+the+Spartans+41-30+on+Quad+Night.+

Grant Shorin

Aldis Petriceks ('13) flies by a Mountain View defender. Petriceks and the Paly boys’ basketball team defeated the Spartans 41-30 on Quad Night.

Audrey DeBruine and Pippa Raffel

In the fourth and final game of Friday night’s “Quad Night,” the Paly boys’ basketball team (17-1, 7-0) upended the Mountain View Spartans (10-8, 4-4) 41-30 thanks to strong defensive play and 19 points from Aubrey Dawkins (‘13).

The Vikings started out slowly, trailing the Spartans deep into the first quarter, but came out strong in the second half and didn’t look back.

“It was a gritty win,” guard Scotty Peery (’13) said. “It was kind of ugly in the first half, but our [defense] was good the whole time and we got our offense going in the second half. It was a great win for the team.”

With the win, the Vikings extended their win-streak to 15 games and remained undefeated in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) play. The Vikes now have the chance to clinch a league title in their game on Tuesday against Saratoga.

The Spartans struck first, scoring twice in the first two minutes of play to create a lead of 4-0 over Paly. The Vikings had several missed and blocked shots before Mathias Schmutz (‘13) drove to the net and put Paly on the board for the first time. Spartan guard Nick Wang (‘13) quickly responded with a three-pointer, increasing the Mountain View lead to 7-2.

The Paly defense finally picked it up in the last few minutes of the quarter, forcing a shot clock violation at 2:30 and gaining possession. Following a Spartan timeout, Dawkins tipped in a layup, decreasing the Spartan lead to three points, and two more points from Dawkins put the score at 7-6, Mountain View, at the end of the first.

Second quarter scoring opened with a driving jump shot from Dawkins, putting the Vikings in the lead for first time with a score of 8-7. Mountain View quickly grabbed the lead back with a two-pointer, but on a later drive, Eilon Tzur (’13) twisted free from a Spartan defender and made a layup to put Paly back in front.

Aubrey Dawkins (‘13) scored 19 points to help lead the Vikings to victory. The Paly boys’ basketball team has now won 15 consecutive games.

Following a number of missed shots, Dawkins found the net again, giving the Vikings a 12-9 lead going into a Paly timeout at 3:53.

“Dawkins took the ball to the basket,” Paly head coach Adam Sax said. “He was more aggressive to the rim, which helped us out.”

Wang hit another three-pointer following the timeout, and the Spartans added two more points on a later drive, but a two-pointer from M. Schmutz in the final seconds of the half gave Paly a 14-13 lead heading into the locker room.

Paly carried its momentum into the second half, with Dawkins sinking a three in the first 20 seconds of the third quarter to put the Vikings up 17-13. Mountain View responded with two points, but five points from Paly kept the Vikings ahead 22-15.

Peery energized the relatively quiet Paly student section when he recovered a loose ball on the ground on the Viking side of the court, tossing it to Petriceks who drove down the court to score for the Vikings. Paly then led 24-15.

The Vikings and the Spartans traded threes, each scoring two, to put the score at 30-21, Paly. The Spartans added two more points in the quarter, which ended with the Vikings up 30-23.

The Vikings again struggled with missed shots in the fourth quarter, and the Spartans scored four points before Dawkins drew a foul at 3:41, making one of two free throws to put the score at 31-27. Four more points from Dawkins increased Paly’s lead to 35-27.

A bucket from Schmutz gave Paly its largest lead of the game, putting them 10 points ahead of Mountain View with the score at 37-27. The Spartans’ final scoring drive came with a three-pointer from Brian Kaestner (‘13).

A wide-open Petriceks added two more points to Paly’s total in the final minute of the game, and two more points on free throws gave Paly a 41-30 lead over Mountain View as time expired.

The Vikings are off to their best start since Jeremy Lin (’06) led Paly to a state title his senior year and look to extend their win-streak to 16 games when they face off against another league opponent, Saratoga at Saratoga High School Tuesday at 7 p.m.