In the first half of Friday’s game, the Los Altos High girls didn’t play like a basketball team that’s in last place – and Saratoga didn’t look like a squad that’s leading the division.
The host Eagles reverted to form in the second half, however, allowing the Falcons to win 48-41 and remain perfect in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division.
Los Altos jumped to a 12-2 lead – getting a pair of 3-pointers from Lauren Amorese – and held a 27-23 advantage at halftime.
But the Eagles unraveled in the third quarter. They made just one of 17 shots, allowing Saratoga to take the lead with a 10-4 run.
“We’ve done this before,” Los Altos coach Keith Mims said of his team’s third-quarter troubles. “We put pressure on ourselves and get tight. The key is to play a better third quarter, so the fourth quarter is easier for us.”
The fourth was anything but easy for the Eagles, as Saratoga scored the first eight points to go up 41-31 with four minutes left. Los Altos turned the ball over 11 times in the period.
Turnovers have haunted the Eagles all season, and Mims said he couldn’t recall a game in which his team has made more than 50 percent of its free throws. Los Altos was six of 14 from the line in the second half Friday.
Although his team dropped to 0-5 in the division and 5-12 overall, Mims remains optimistic. He noted that the Eagles “did a good job defensively” against the Falcons (5-0, 11-6) and scored more than 40 points for the second consecutive game. Amorese led Los Altos with 11 points Friday, while Meghan McDermott added seven and Ideen Seyed six.
“We’re young and improving,” Mims said, “but we can’t get that last little step and play a complete game.”
He hopes that happens soon enough for the Eagles to turn around their season.
“It’s not over yet,” Mims said. “It isn’t how you start, but how you finish.”
Los Altos is scheduled to visit Homestead 7 p.m. today.