Brief: Paly basketball routed in first-round CCS loss

In the first round of the Central Coast Section (CCS) Open Division championship, the boys’ basketball team was defeated by Archbishop Riordan High School, 58-47.

Missed opportunities and an injury to starting center Keller Chryst (‘14) culminated in a tough loss for the Vikings.

“We had some nerves early, we weren’t hitting very many shots and we had a tough time scoring,”  head coach Adam Sax said. “I think we went four minutes without a basket. I thought defensively we were sound but offensively we struggled to score.”

The Crusaders came out strong to start the game, striking first in a game that the Vikings would never lead. Missed shots from the field and behind the line plagued the Vikes in the first quarter, which ended with Riordan up 13-8.

During Riordan’s first drive of the second quarter, Chryst went down with an ankle injury which he did not return from. With Chryst out, the Vikings lost their leading rebounder, a problem which contributed to Paly’s growing deficit.

Down 17-9 midway through the quarter, the Vikings began to pick up the pace. Shots from guard Mathias Schmutz (‘13) and forward Aubrey Dawkins (‘13) put Paly within 3 points of Riordan with the score at 19-16. However, the Crusaders scored 5 unanswered points to finish out the half, bringing  the score to 24-16. The Vikings were 4-for-8 from behind the line in the half.

The Vikings continued to battle in the third quarter, but remained down seven points with a score of 34-27 as the fourth quarter opened. In the final quarter of the game, the Vikings struggled to stay competitive, and faced their largest deficit of the night, down 20.

“The realization started coming [in the fourth quarter] that we were going to lose and peoples’ heads started going down,” Dawkins said. “They outplayed us, outhustled us.”

Time expired with the scoreboard reading 58-47, Riordan.

Despite the loss, the Vikings continue CCS play on Tuesday against Soquel High School in the consolation bracket. The winner of the bracket finishes fifth in the division.