Boys’ basketball defeats Homestead 46-20 to open league play

Boys’ basketball defeats Homestead 46-20 to open league play

Spencer Drazovich

Israel Hakeem ('12) lines up to shoot a free throw in Wednesday night's game. Hakeem contributed 14 points for the Vikings as they defeated Homestead High School 46-20.

Austin Poore and Spencer Drazovich, Staff Writers

The Palo Alto High School boys’ basketball team defeated Homestead 46-20 with a strong effort Wednesday night at Paly. The win pushed the team’s record to 10-1 overall.

Defense was the name of the game for the Vikings, who came out energetic and focused, holding the Mustangs to eight points or fewer in each quarter, including a scoreless third.

“Defense was really good. [The game] got sloppy in the second half but a win is a win so I’ll take it. Defense was there all game though,” forward E.J. Floreal (‘13) said.

Floreal chipped in four rebounds and eight points, including three dunks, to finish as the team’s third leading scorer on the night. Israel Hakim (‘12) paced the Vikings with 14 points in the game.

Heading into the league season, the team’s main focus lies on the offensive end, where both teams encountered stretches where they seemed unable to put the ball in the basket.

“We need to clean up our offense a little,” point guard Alec Wong (‘12) said. “Passing was lacking and we need to get better at handling pressure.”

Head coach Adam Sax echoed Wong’s sentiments about the offense needing a little work, and also pointed out that although the defense was good, it is still not perfect.

“We’d like to share the basketball more,” Sax said. “Make the extra pass and get the ball inside more. Defensively we’d like to step up the full court pressure.”

Overall, the team was pleased with the effort in the game, and looks forward to a successful league season ahead.

“We sent a message tonight that we are going to go out there and play hard,” Floreal said.

The Vikings take the court on Friday night against Mountain View High School at Mountain View.