With each game, the Los Altos High boys basketball team looks more like the team to beat in the SCVAL De Anza Division. The Eagles’ biggest obstacle may be the Eagles.
“We’ve got the opportunity in front of us and we can play with anybody,” said coach Bob McFarlane, whose team is off to a 5-0 start in league. “It’s just a matter of almost getting out of our own way at times and focusing on the team and what the team’s trying to accomplish.”
Last week’s 53-38 rout of rival Mountain View exemplified that. After a ragged first half in which they led just 21-20, the Eagles pulled away with an 18-5 third-quarter run Jan. 22.
“In the first half, we were kind of trying to get our own shots and weren’t really moving the ball,” McFarlane said. “As soon as we came out in the second half, we had nice ball movement and executed our plays and all of a sudden we had shots. We kind of caught fire and defensively played as a team versus individually.”
Mountain View scored first in the second half – on a putback by Joey Williams – but host Los Altos put up the next seven points. Joey Malgesini accounted for five of those points, starting with a top-of-the-key 3. The senior finished with a game-high 17 points.
“They run a zone (defense),” Malgesini said of the Spartans. “We had to adjust to that and find what looks we could get off of that because it’s very different and we’re not used to it. Once we did, we really started to execute and play our game – and it showed on the scoreboard.”
After Mountain View scored on two free throws by Kevin Ives (team-high 13 points) to cut the deficit to 28-24, Los Altos went on a devastating 11-1 run to close the quarter. Daniel Rosenbaum poured in nine points during the spurt, making a baseline jumper, three drives and a free throw. The junior finished with 12 points.
Ahead 39-25 entering the fourth, the Eagles maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Malgesini drained two 3-pointers – he made five in the game – and Lambie Lanman scored four of his seven points.
Steven Garverick totaled 15 points for Los Altos, seven of those coming in the first quarter.
The Eagles followed this win with another Friday: 53-43 at Homestead. Los Altos (13-5 overall) outscored the Mustangs 20-12 in the fourth quarter.
Malgesini tallied 19 points and Rosenbaum added 14.
The Eagles are slated to host Los Gatos – the only team they have yet to play in league – 7 p.m. today.
Mountain View, meanwhile, is scheduled to visit Saratoga at the same time.
The Spartans rebounded from the loss to Los Altos by topping host Palo Alto 35-31 Friday.
Mountain View held the Vikings to just eight points in the second half – and only two of those came in the final quarter.
Corey Fitz paced the Spartans with 10 points.
Mountain View improved to 2-3 in the De Anza Division and 6-11 overall.
“I think we’re competitive – more competitive than we look on paper,” Spartans assistant coach DJ Kobza said. “We’re a pretty scrappy team. I think we can be in the mix in league.”
2013 boys basketball: Los Altos High School v. Mountain View High School - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier