Girls’ basketball takes CCS championship with third victory over Gunn this season

Gracie Marshall and Mark Raftrey

The Palo Alto High School girls’ basketball team (22-4, 12-0) completed a three-peat with its victory in the Central Coast Section (CCS) championship against Gunn High School (19-6, 9-3) last night at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara.

The top-seeded Vikings defeated the No. 3 Titans for the third time this season, by a score of 54-44.

Paly rushed out of the gates, opening up a 16-6 lead in the first quarter behind stifling defense and dominant rebounding.

“This game, [Paly head coach] Scott [Peters] said, ‘Make it simple. Go out there, play hard, trap, play good defense,’” Paly guard Mariah Philips (’11) said. “And that’s what we did. Entropy, that’s our motto; create chaos.”

That was the difference throughout, as Paly out-rebounded Gunn 43-20 and held the Titans to 10-of-36 shooting. Center Josie Butler (‘13) had five blocked shots to go with six rebounds.

Gunn attempted only seven shots in the first quarter, but closed the gap to 16-9 with a late 3-pointer.

The Titans carried this momentum into the second, scoring the opening eight points of the quarter to take the lead at 17-16.

“We got a little bit too complacent, a little tired,” Paly forward Emilee Osagiede (‘12) said. “After that, we said ‘We earned this, the first two games [against Gunn] were not flukes, and we need to win this.’”

Gunn’s resurgence, however, was short lived as the Lady Vikes would take the lead back for good.

The girls' basketball team won its first-ever CCS championship on Saturday night.

Paly’s big three of forwards Sydney Davis (‘11) and Osagiede, along with guard Shamelia Clay (‘12) took over from there. Davis and Clay each scored 12 on the night, while Osagiede added 11 to match her 11 rebounds.

Philips hit a three to close out the half and push the Paly lead to 29-21.

The second half opened back-and-forth as Gunn managed to keep the deficit manageable.

Davis, however, came out on fire in the fourth, and single-handedly blew the game open. First, with the shot clock down to two seconds, she drained a three from well beyond the line.

Shortly after, she added five more straight, the final three coming on and and-one play as she was fouled driving to the basket, putting the Lady Vikes up 47-30 with 4:58 remaining in the game.

Gunn made a spirited comeback attempt in the final few minutes, but never closed the gap to single digits.

Lindsay Black ('12) drives past Titan Emily Redfield ('12).

When the final horn sounded, the team sang, danced and hugged, before collecting Paly’s first girls’ basketball CCS championship trophy ever and Paly’s third of the school year.

“I’m not gonna worry about anything,” Peters said. “I’m going to celebrate this victory. To beat Gunn three times is the cherry on top.”

With the win, the Lady Vikes will host a first round game of the NorCal tournament on Tuesday. The Titans also qualified for the tournament by reaching the CCS final.

Box Score:

Gunn 9 12 6 17
Paly 16 13 8 17

1st half 7/20 (.350) 10/23 (.435)
2nd half 3/16 (.188) 7/21 (.333)
Total 10/36 (.278) 17/44 (.386)

Free throws:
Gunn 20/30 (.667)
Paly 18/31 (.581)