Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Los Altos High’s Daniel Rosenbaum puts up a shot in a recent game versus Wilcox. He tallied 11 points last week at Fremont.
The Los Altos High boys basketball team clamped down on defense to lock up the division title last week.
The Eagles topped Fremont 60-49 Feb. 12 to win the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division championship outright. Visiting Los Altos (11-0 league, 16-7 overall) held the second-place Firebirds (8-3, 16-7) to just 12 points in the opening half.
“The guys came really ready to play, and our emphasis was to play our best team defense of the year,” coach Bob McFarlane said. “We’ve been working hard to improve our defense, and when we watched the film it was obvious to the entire team that we played really poor defense the first time against Fremont.”
The Firebirds scored 40 points in the first half of that Jan. 22 meeting, in which the Eagles rallied late to prevail 74-71.
This time, Los Altos jumped to a big lead early. The Eagles held a 20-point advantage at halftime.
“It was hands down the best half of basketball we played all year,” McFarlane said. “As any coach knows, good defense translates to good offense, so we were on fire offensively as well.”
Fremont made a run in the second half – cutting the deficit to nine points – “but we hung tough and showed composure, hitting some big shots to keep that gap big enough to subside their surge,” the coach said.
Steven Garverick finished with 20 points to lead Los Altos, Joey Malgesini added 18 and Daniel Rosenbaum contributed 11.
The Eagles last won league in 2008, sharing the El Camino crown with Lynbrook. Los Altos advances to the Central Coast Section playoffs, scheduled to begin this week.
Mountain View is a lock for the playoffs as well. The Spartans improved to 7-4 in the SCVAL De Anza Division and 14-9 overall by crushing Cupertino 53-18 Feb. 12.
Visiting Mountain View led the last-place Pioneers 11-0 after the first quarter and entered the final period up 41-11. Nick Wang paced the Spartans with 16 points and Brian Kaestner scored 11.
Pinewood is also expected to make the postseason. The host Panthers beat Woodside Priory 67-55 Feb. 13, boosting their record to 6-7 in the West Bay Athletic League and 11-10 overall. Owen Lewis tallied 22 points for Pinewood.
“We are playing our best basketball right now and I feel very confident about our chances in the playoffs,” coach Mani Messy said.
There was no stopping Los Altos guard Ideen Seyed in her team’s 54-35 win at Fremont Feb. 13. The senior scored a career-high 35 points, making eight 3s.
“Ideen was absolutely amazing,” coach Kevin Lee said.
The win allowed the first-place Eagles (10-1, 17-6) to keep pace with rival Mountain View (10-1, 21-2) in the SCVAL El Camino Division with one game left.