Boys’ Basketball falls to Gunn 72-59

Lauren Koyama and Skylar Burris

The Palo Alto High School boys’ basketball team (12-7, 3-4) fell to cross-town rival Gunn High School (13-1, 4-1) 72-57 last Friday on Quad Night at Gunn High School. This was the first loss the boys basketball team has had to Gunn since 2009.

The Vikings’ started off the game slow, letting the Titans gain a 6-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. Jumpers from Max Dorward (‘18) and Justin Hull (‘16) were the first points Paly put on the scoreboard, making the score 15-4. Bryant Jefferson (‘18) scored a layup after an assist from Miles Tention (‘17), ending the first quarter trailing to Gunn 22-12.

“From the very beginning they had way more energy. They wanted it a lot more than we did,” Junior guard Jack Simison said. “Mental strength is definitely something we need to work on.”

The second quarter started with a layup by Gunn, which Paly responded to with two made free throws by Tention after being fouled on a layup. Hull had two threes for the Vikings, but Gunn quickly responded to both. The half ended with the Titans still leading 41-26.

“We didn’t do as good of a job as we would have liked defending the perimeter. We also weren’t able to convert enough on offense from their mistakes,” Dorward said. “We did do a decent job at pressuring them into a lot of turnovers.”

The Vikings’ were able to tie the Titans in the third quarter, each team scoring 13 points. However, late in the quarter Tention was severely injured after getting hit in the key. Medical staff had to help Tention off the floor, after re-injuring his back. Gunn guard Jeffery Lee-Heidenreich (‘17) also needed medical assistance after falling face-first while getting fouled on a layup.

Paly was able to win the fourth quarter 20-18, but it was not enough to come back from the 15 point deficit. The Vikings were able to cut the lead down to 12 with two minutes remaining, after two layups by Jefferson. Yet, the Titans still kept the lead, securing the game 72-59.

After losing to Gunn, Hull is looking on ways to improve.

“We have to work on our defensive intensity and not letting opposing teams make whatever passes they want. Also, work on moving the ball better on offense,” Hull said.

The Vikings will face off against the Milpitas Trojans (8-10, 2-4) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Gunn High School.