On-court chemistry helps 2 seniors from Los Altos lead Homestead to title

By Pete Borello
Staff Writer/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When Izzy Sathy and Kendra Wong were on the court, the Homestead High girls basketball team was nearly impossible to beat this season. The two seniors from Los Altos led the Mustangs to a 21-3 overall record.

Their last loss came with Sathy on the bench; she fouled out with approximately four minutes left in the fourth quarter of a second-round playoff game that Carlmont won 51-45 in overtime.

“That really hurt us,” Wong said. “The team chemistry was off when we were not on the court together.”

Kendra Wong and Izzy Sathy” width=
Courtesy of Andy Wong
Homestead High’s Kendra Wong, left, and Izzy Sathy display the MVP and first-place trophies they won at the Cupertino Classic.

That probably had a lot to do with the strong on-court chemistry Wong and Sathy forged over years of friendship and playing the game together. They met in kindergarten at Montclaire Elementary School and played on the same YMCA youth basketball team growing up.

“Our dads coached our Y ball team,” said Sathy, who also played a year of club basketball with Wong. “We’ve been friends forever.”

This season – the third in which they played on the varsity team together – the co-captains could practically read each other’s minds on the court.

“We can tell what each other is going to do, so we know where to cut and pass,” Sathy said. “We know each other’s style.”

That proved especially helpful to Wong, the point guard tasked with running the team’s up-tempo offense.

“It’s great, because we always know where the other person is going,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of fun playing with her over the years.”

Especially this year, which guard/forward Sathy described as “the perfect senior season.” She and Wong steered the Mustangs to their best record since the 2015-16 campaign. Homestead crushed the competition at the Cupertino Classic – Wong and Sathy shared tournament MVP honors – before dominating the SCVAL El Camino Division earlier this year. The Mustangs went 11-1 in league, winning by an average of nearly 27 points per game.

Wong and Sathy played some of their best basketball during that stretch. Wong buried a career-best four 3-pointers in a win over Mountain View, and Sathy made all five of her field goals in a rout of Monta Vista.

Opposing coaches took notice of how integral Sathy and Wong were to Homestead’s success, voting them co-MVPs of the El Camino Division.

“It was unexpected for me,” said Wong, the Mustangs’ 3-point leader with 27. “It’s really cool to have that (MVP) title but also to share it with my friend and the co-captain of my team.”
Sathy, who averaged 10 points per game in her fourth varsity season, added, “It felt good (to be honored), and it was great that me and Kendra could share that as well.”

While they may never again share the same court, both girls are headed in the same direction next fall – east. Wong is going to Carnegie Mellon University, where she has committed to play basketball; Sathy is bound for Wellesley College, which recruited her to play soccer. However, she hasn’t ruled out playing basketball as well, because soccer is a fall sport in college.

“I like both sports equally,” said Sathy, who plays center back for the MVLA Soccer Club. “I’ll see how I manage academics with soccer and then see if I can do basketball, too.”

Wellesley (located in Massachusetts) and Carnegie Mellon (Pennsylvania) don’t play each other in basketball next season, but Wong hopes the two NCAA Division III schools will meet on the court before she and Sathy graduate – and that both of them are in uniform.

“It would be really fun to play her,” Wong said.

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Shooting woes cost Panthers

While the Pinewood School girls basketball team packed its defense for Saturday’s road game against Salesian in the Northern California Division I playoffs, the Panthers never found their shooting stroke.

Annika Decker” width=
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier File Photo
Pinewood School’s Annika Decker, putting up a shot in the CCS Open final, scored a team-high 15 points in Saturday’s NorCal semifinal loss.

No. 5 Pinewood struggled to make shots – particularly in the first half – leading to its demise in the semifinal. The top-seeded Pride prevailed 53-44 in Albany.

Spartans nearly stun Paly; Eagles upset at home; Lancers, Panthers also out

Both times the Mountain View High boys basketball team faced mighty Palo Alto in league play this season, the Spartans got within one possession of tying the game in the fourth quarter before the Vikings pulled away.

When the teams met in the Central Coast Section Division I quarterfinals last week, Mountain View had a chance to upset the SCVAL De Anza Division champs on the final possession.

Panthers no match for Mitty in CCS Open final

More than 30 minutes after Friday’s Central Coast Section Open Division girls basketball final, Annika Decker emerged from Pinewood School’s subdued locker room with ice packs wrapped around both ankles. Her shin splints hurt, she acknowledged, but the lopsided loss to Mitty hurt more.

“That was kind of a rough one,” the point guard said of the 76-44 setback to the Monarchs at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion. “They rushed us into things that we wouldn’t normally do, and we just didn’t play like how we normally would. We didn’t run back in transition defense and we just couldn’t make our finishes – like I couldn’t hit a layup, and I take blame for that.”

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