Varsity boys basketball loses to Paly in overtime on odd finish

The boys basketball team lost an overtime thriller to the Paly Vikings on Friday, January 16, by a score of 58-57. The game had the craziest ending of the year and still has Eagles fans scratching their heads.

The game began as a shooting contest. Both teams came out in zone defenses, leading to several three-point shot attempts. Paly started off hot, taking an 8-0 lead, but Los Altos clawed its way back and at the end of the first quarter the game was tied 10-10.

Paly opened a gap in the second quarter, getting its lead up to eleven points. This forced Los Altos to change defensive schemes, going to a smaller lineup. The changeup started to work as the half came to a close, and the Eagles cut the deficit to six at the end of the half, with the score 28-22 in favor of the Vikings.

Los Altos came out strong in the third quarter. An 8-1 run in the opening minutes of the second half gave the Eagles their first lead of the day, 30-29. Soon after, Paly found their shots again and the quarter ended with the Vikings up 37-38.

The fourth quarter was close all of the way. Both teams traded runs, with Paly taking a four or five point lead, only to have the Eagles come back.. With 6:09 left, senior Daniel Rosenbaum hit two free throws to give the Eagles a 40-39, but on their next possession the Vikings made a three pointer to take back the lead. Two and a half minutes later, senior Thomas Kelleher hit a clutch three to put Los Altos up 45-44, but Paly came right back with a three pointer again to take a 47-45 lead. At the 1:10 mark, senior Sami Nassif made a layup to tie the game 47-47, but another Vikings three pointer made it 50-47.

The teams traded free throws down the stretch. With 19.6 seconds left in regulation, the Eagles got the ball under the Vikings basket and senior Patrick McColl was fouled and hit two free throws to tie the game, 51-51. Paly failed to score on their last possession and the game went to overtime.

Overtime went back and forth. Los Altos took at two point lead, only to have Paly come back with yet another three. The teams traded points, making the score 56-55 Vikings with 55.7 seconds left.

With under ten seconds left, Nassif hit what appeared to be a three-pointer, making the score 58-56 in favor of the Eagles. Paly drove the ball and was fouled with no time remaining. They would shoot two shots. If they made both, they would force a second overtime. If they didn’t, Los Altos would come away with the win.

Right before Alex Dees stepped to the line to take the shots for Paly though, there was confusion at the scorer’s table. The referees confirmed that there was no time left on the clock, but then changed Nassif’s basket to a two-pointer, giving the Eagles just a one point lead. Dees nailed both free throws, Paly won 58-57 and Los Altos players and fans were left with looks of shock, confusion and frustration.

With the loss the Eagles are 6-8 overall and 1-2 in SCVAL. Their next game is at Homestead on Tuesday, January 19, and their next home game is versus Los Gatos next Friday, January 23.