Slicing a 13-point deficit to four in the closing seconds of the third quarter, the Mountain View High girls basketball team seemed to seize the momentum. But with one improbable shot, Cupertino snatched it back.
Guard Sayesha Chaudhary banked in a 3 from well beyond the arc, barely beating the third-quarter buzzer. It ignited a 14-2 run for the host Pioneers, who prevailed 55-40.
“That 3 was probably a momentum changer,” said coach Xavier Cook, whose team trailed 40-33 after it. “When you have young kids, they can get down on themselves after something like that.”
Mountain View, which started three freshmen Friday, outscored Cupertino 16-9 prior to Chaudhary’s shot. Senior post player Kyra Palmbush produced 10 of those points, with the last basket coming off a pass into the low post from sophomore guard Sophie Waggoner with 6 seconds left.
Palmbush totaled a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds.
“The last few games, Kyra has been playing really well,” said Cook, who noted that she recorded 11 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks in the Spartans’ 61-35 rout of Santa Clara earlier in the week. “She’s really picked it up.”
Friday’s loss dropped Mountain View to 2-5 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division and 6-12 overall.
In other girls basketball action:
• Los Altos cruised to a 60-33 SCVAL El Camino Division win at Gunn Friday. Jamie Baum scored 23 points for the Eagles (5-2 league, 13-5 overall).
• Struggling to make shots from the perimeter, Pinewood lost Saturday’s non-league game at Salesian 54-45. The Panthers shot just 4-of-24 from 3-point range. Klara Astrom totaled 14 points for Pinewood (17-2).
• St. Francis’ furious fourth-quarter rally wasn’t enough to catch St. Ignatius, which held on for a 49-47 road win Friday. The Lancers outscored the Wildcats 17-8 in the final period of the West Catholic Athletic League contest. Paige Uyehara scored 17 points for St. Francis (2-4, 13-5).
Host St. Francis shocked league-leading Riordan 59-52 Jan. 23. Down five at halftime, the Lancers outscored the Crusaders 36-24 the rest of the way. St. Francis improved to 5-3 in the WCAL and 11-7 overall.
Los Altos dropped its sixth game in a row and fell into a last-place tie with Gunn after Friday’s 55-44 loss to the host Titans. Los Altos sank to 1-6 in the De Anza Division and 10-9 overall.
Mountain View leads the El Camino Division with a 3-0 record after last week’s lopsided win over Saratoga. The visiting Spartans prevailed 56-9 Jan. 22.
Mountain View captured 12 of the 14 weight classes. Four Spartans won via pin: Teva Freitas (285 pounds), Nicholas Kikuta (145), Jared Krawitz (170) and Braeden Atkinson (195).
Mountain View scored all its goals in the second half of Friday’s 3-1 home win over Homestead. Erin Alexander, Charis Toney and Sistine Noel found the back of the net for the Spartans; Isabella Walker, Claire Pare and Allie Montoya each earned an assist.
Two days earlier, Mountain View blanked Fremont 4-0 on the road. Montoya scored three goals and assisted on Alexander’s goal. Sydney Arrillaga recorded two assists and Noel the other.
The Spartans entered this week atop the De Anza at 6-0 and with a 13-0-1 overall record.
St. Francis played Mitty to a 1-all tie Jan. 23. Sophie Bloyd scored for the host Lancers, assisted by Skylar Blaise.
Mountain View fell to third place in the De Anza Division (2-1-4) after tying Mountain View and losing to Homestead.
The host Spartans tied the Eagles 1-all Jan. 23, getting their goal from Ben Smith (assist James Vadasz). In Friday’s 1-0 road loss to the Mustangs, Mountain View “had many good chances but just couldn’t get one in,” coach Jim McGuirk said.