LA girls top Pioneers to remain tied for first in division

Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos High’s Ideen Seyed, shooting, scored a season-high 26 points Friday against Cupertino.

Refusing to fall into the trap of playing down to the level of its opponent, the league-leading Los Altos High girls basketball team crushed cellar dweller Cupertino 51-27 Friday night.

With the Central Coast Section playoffs a week away and the Eagles tied atop the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division standings with rival Mountain View, coach Kevin Lee had little trouble motivating his squad (9-1 league, 16-6 overall).

“We’re looking down the road toward CCS right now and we’re preparing with that in mind,” he said. “So they know they have to come out and play defense and execute like we would against any other opponent.”

Los Altos’ opportunistic defense and offensive execution helped the team compensate for its poor shooting against the visiting Pioneers (0-9, 2-20). The Eagles forced 31 turnovers and committed just nine, which provided them with ample chances to score. They attempted 17 more field goals than Cupertino.

So despite shooting just 25 percent from the field, Los Altos matched its fourth-best scoring output of the season. It didn’t hurt that the Eagles practically lived at the line, making 16 of 28 free throws (the Pioneers went 0 for 5).

Los Altos buried seven 3-pointers, all of them courtesy of Ideen Seyed. The senior guard finished with a season-high 26 points.

Seyed’s top-of-the-key 3 with 5:14 remaining in the opening quarter gave the Eagles their first lead of the game at 7-6. That ignited a 23-0 run for Los Altos, which held the Pioneers scoreless for more than 10 minutes and led 27-9 at halftime.

Cupertino cut the deficit to 31-15 with five minutes left in the third, but the Eagles answered with a 6-0 run. Seyed scored five of those points, draining a pair of free throws and another straight-away trey.

Seyed nailed two treys in the fourth, helping Los Altos extend the lead to 49-25 with two minutes left.

Lee had emptied his bench by then, giving all his girls a chance to play. Eight Eagles produced points, with Tianna Vasquez finishing second to Seyed in scoring with six. Katie Munro added five points.

The season should only get more difficult, and Lee expects his team to be ready for what’s ahead.

“I think they’re a confident group of girls,” he said. “They’re confident that they can continue to grow. I don’t think we’ve peaked yet as a basketball team. I think we’ve improved a lot, but have a lot of work to do still.”

Los Altos – which hammered Homestead 53-32 earlier last week – is set to visit Fremont 7 p.m. today and host Monta Vista 6:15 p.m. Friday to cap the regular season.

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