Paly to take on Riordan in the first round of CCS


Grant Shorin

Mathias Schmutz (’13) drives by a defender during Paly’s victory over Los Gatos on Feb. 8. Paly will play Riordan in the first round of CCS this Friday.

It’s been quite the season for the Paly boys’ basketball team. The Vikings won all 12 of their league games by double digits, currently hold the best record (23-1) of any high school team in Northern California and finished their season on a 21-game winning streak.

The Vikes, however, still have more work to do. This unexpected success has earned them a CCS Open Division berth and a first round matchup with Archbishop Riordan (17-9) Friday at 8 p.m. in Piedmont Hills.

This is the first year that the “Open Division” has been in existence for CCS basketball. “Open Division” CCS play pits the eight best high school teams in the section against each other, regardless of their division tier.

Paly, a division one school, earned the fifth seed in the tournament. Riordan, a team that finished fourth in the West Catholic League Standings, is seeded fourth.

Despite playing in the first game all season in which his team is not the favorite, head coach Adam Sax has positive vibes heading into Friday’s matchup.

“I think it’s going to be a good challenge to go up against the top teams in the section,” Sax said. “It’s an honor to play all those teams.”

While Riordan has a worse record than Paly (17-9), the Crusaders have gone up against much tougher competition this year, namely in their league.

The Crusaders went 7-7 in the same league as the nationally ranked Archbishop Mitty Monarchs (22-5), who topped the West Catholic League standings at season end.

If Paly can get the win they’ll most likely next face standout Aaron Gordon (’13) and the Monarchs, who hold the one seed in the tournament and are the overwhelming favorites to win both CCS and their third straight State Title.