Even without its top player in the lineup, the Mountain View High boys basketball team found itself leading first-place Palo Alto by six points late in the second quarter of last week’s SCVAL De Anza Division game.
But then the visiting Spartans “made a couple mental mistakes,” coach Kevin Mack said, which enabled the Vikings to tie the contest at 22 by halftime. The miscues mounted in the second half – Mountain View totaled 21 turnovers Jan. 15 – and Paly pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 55-42 victory.
“Mistakes and turnovers in crucial times of games have been our Achilles heel,” said Mack, whose squad dropped to 1-3 in league and 10-6 overall. “… We played hard and our effort was there, but our decision-making and situational awareness wasn’t consistent enough.”
Perhaps no play exemplified that more than one at the end of the third quarter. Trailing by three points, the Spartans fouled a Paly player taking a 3-pointer as time expired; he made all three free throws.
“That was rough,” Mack said. “So instead of being down one possession going into the fourth, we were down six points.”
Ryan Bahar finished with 11 points to lead Mountain View. The junior drained a trio of treys. Sophomore Joey Peir and junior Yuval Hod added six points each, all on 3-pointers.
Senior standout Jailen Daniel-Dalton missed his third straight game with a shoulder injury; Mack expected him back for today’s 7 p.m. home game against Homestead.
Pinewood rebounded from its first loss of the season with a pair of double-digit wins at home last week. The Panthers followed a 66-25 rout of Notre Dame-Belmont Jan. 14 with a 43-31 victory against Woodside Priory Thursday.
Pinewood improved to 2-1 in the West Bay Athletic League and 12-1 overall.
Maia Garcia totaled 15 points and 11 rebounds in the earlier win; Valentina Saric contributed nine points.
Host Mountain View played first-place Santa Clara to a 1-all tie Jan. 15. Aaron Walters scored for the Spartans midway though the second half; the Bruins tied it a minute later.
Mountain View coach Jim McGuirk praised the effort of his defense in the De Anza Division match.
“Our defensive line of Ian Schneider, Max Mayer, James Vadasz and Amit Hod have been doing a great job of really limiting the chances against us,” he said.
The result put the Spartans at 1-0-2 in league (third place) and 7-1-3 overall.
Los Altos fell 2-0 at Saratoga Jan. 13, dropping the Eagles to 0-1-1 in the De Anza Division and 1-6-3 overall.
Mountain View lost 1-0 at Santa Clara Jan. 15 after surrendering a goal in the second half of the De Anza Division contest. The Spartans sank to 0-1-2 in league and 4-4-2 overall.
Mountain View appears well on its way to winning the SCVAL El Camino Division for the second year in a row. The Spartans beat Milpitas and Santa Clara last week to run their record to 3-0.
Mountain View posted seven pins in its 69-10 rout of host Milpitas Jan. 15 – including one by 160-pounder Findlay Ciesla in his first-ever wrestling match.
Five Spartans earned pins in Thursday’s 54-24 home win over Santa Clara: Andrew Pan (126 pounds), Tai Nguyen (132), Gavin Scafidi (145), Jack Hecht (152) and Javier Hernandez (285).