Paly boys basketball falls to Los Altos 67-62

Skylar Burris and Talia Malchin

Palo Alto boys basketball fell to Los Altos at home on Friday 67-62. Although Paly came back from a 17-point deficit in the second quarter, it wasn’t enough to snag a win for the vikings.

After Paly won the tip-off and Jack Simison (‘17) scored the first 2-points of the game with an easy layup, Paly got up to a 6-0 lead two minutes in. The other scorers were Ethan Stern (‘17) and Max Dorward (‘18). However, that was to be their last lead of the game. Los Altos fought back, scoring two back-to-back threes to silence the Paly crowd. With that, Los Altos gained momentum and ended the first quarter leading Paly 23-10.

The first play coming into the second quarter was a drained three by Los Altos. Paul Jackson III (‘18) scored a floater followed by William Schlemmer’s (‘18) rebound and put-back. Los Altos returned with a three, but Dorward responded a layup and a foul, finishing his free throw for the three-point play. Soon after, Stern picked up a loose ball and finished a layup. However, Paly was still down at the half, trailing 38-23.

Paly started out the half strong with a jump shot by Simison. After Simison was fouled on a made layup, aLos Altos player is called for a technical after receiving a foul. Simison shoots and makes all three free-throws. However, this momentum was slowed by a quick three by Los Altos. At the end of the third, Paly continued to trail 59-42.

The Vikings started the fourth quarter strong with two layups by Simison and Bryant Jefferson (‘18), leading to a made layup along with a foul for Stern who finishes the free throw. The vikings dominated the fourth quarter, but still managed to come up short with a loss of 67-62.

Dorward was disappointed that Miles Tention (‘17) and Justin Hull (‘16), two starters on the Paly team, were absent for the loss due to sickness.

“Today we were missing Miles and Justin, so we knew people off the bench had to step it up,” Dorward said. “It would’ve been a huge game if we had some of our key players.”

Simison agreed, but also pointed out the mental side.

“I definitely think this had to do with our mentality, because our composure was terrible in the first half,” Simison said. “We let them get a little lead, [and] we just kept letting them shoot.”

Despite the loss, Dorward is looking forward to the game next week against Fremont.

“If we prepare during practice these next couple of days for Fremont I think we should be able to [get a win],” Dorward said.

Paly boys basketball will be facing off against Fremont High School (2-1) at Fremont next Wednesday, January 20.