Proving that last year’s win over perennial league power Palo Alto wasn’t a fluke, the Los Altos High girls basketball team beat the Vikings twice last week to open the season – and one Eagle reached a milestone in the process.
After rallying at home to edge Paly 46-44 April 20, the Eagles led most of the way in Friday’s 53-45 road win.
Senior guard Jamie Baum poured in 42 points over the two Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division games and Friday eclipsed 1,000 points for her high school career. Celebrated by her teammates after the victory, the four-year starter has amassed 1,004 points.
“I really wanted to reach 1,000, but my main focus was doing whatever my team needed to win the game,” said Baum, who scored a career-high 27 points. “I am also super grateful for all my teammates and all the effort they put into making this milestone special. I don’t know what I did to deserve all of their support, and I couldn’t have done any of this without all of their hard work.”
Erik Stuart, Los Altos’ first-year head coach, described Baum as “a tremendous athlete.” She knocked down five 3-pointers Friday, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots.
Baum tallied 15 points in the opener, tying senior guard Monet Sekiguchi for team-high honors.
Down nine points entering the fourth quarter of that game, the Eagles outscored Paly 18-7 the rest of the way.
“We hit some shots – we were 3-for-3 on 3s – and played some really good defense,” Stuart said. “On the last possession, we defended well as a team and they never got a good look.”
The Vikings’ 3-point attempt with four seconds left was the last of many shots they missed. Paly shot just 24% from the field.
That had a lot to do with Baum and Sekiguchi keeping their counterparts from Paly in check, according to Stuart.
“They played tremendous defense,” he said.
Offensively, they each buried a 3 in the final quarter; junior Abby Lu made the other.
Friday’s game wasn’t as dramatic; Los Altos held a 16-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter and never let Paly get closer than five points the rest of the way.
MV girls get a split
Mountain View may have surprised Los Gatos in the April 20 season opener, but the Wildcats were ready for the Spartans in Friday’s rematch.
After beating Los Gatos 46-42 at home, Mountain View fell 56-25 on the road. Both were non-league games; the Spartans play in the lower SCVAL El Camino Division and the Wildcats are in the upper De Anza Division.
Mountain View trailed 35-9 at halftime Friday and never got closer than 20 points the rest of the way. It was quite a contrast from the opener, in which the Spartans scored the game’s first nine points and never lost the lead. They were up by as many as 12 points in the second half.
“Los Gatos is a very good team,” Mountain View coach Xavier Cook said after the win, “but I think we played harder.”
The coach added that his team “played tough defense” and found just enough scoring to prevail. Lauren Casey and Toki Morimoto scored 10 points each to pace the Spartans.
“We don’t have a star – no one’s going to get us 15 a night just yet,” Cook said of a squad with only two seniors, “but they play together well.”
LA boys win opener; Spartans fall to 0-2
The Los Altos boys held on for a 47-43 season-opening win over Palo Alto April 21. The host Eagles entered the fourth quarter with a five-point lead. Brandon Gottlieb scored 13 points for Los Altos and Andrew Reilly added 12.
The Eagles and Vikings were set to meet again two days later, but the game was postponed because both teams are in a 10-day shutdown due to possible COVID-19 exposure, according to Los Altos coach Trevor Naas. That means the Eagles also won’t play their two games against rival Mountain View this week.
Mountain View is 0-2 after losing twice to Los Gatos last week. The Spartans followed a 45-44 home loss with a 46-30 road defeat.