Varsity girls basketball celebrates senior night with a close win against Lynbrook


Dorie Xie

The varsity girls basketball team poses for a team picture with senior posters and decorations after their senior night victory.

The Los Altos High School varsity girls basketball team commemorated their senior night with a 44–41 victory against the Lynbrook High School Vikings on Tuesday, February 7. The team is currently 5–6 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League and ranked 3rd with one league game remaining.

“We really wanted to go out on a high note, this being our senior night and all,” co-captain and senior Tessa Player said. “Simply said, we really wanted to win this game.”

The Eagles opened with a shaky start as the Vikings played a strong offense, going 4–16 in the first quarter and trailing 10–25 at halftime.

“It was hard, the first half,” senior Celeste Akhlaghi said. “We weren’t really running plays well or making effective defensive plays either.”

As the third quarter came to a close, the Eagles had started to close the Vikings’ lead, scoring 10 points to Lynbrook’s four.

As the score gap continued to shrink in the final quarter, the tides began to turn. With four minutes left in the game, the Eagles had narrowed the deficit to four points.

At this point, stress levels were high among both the players and the crowd. Every time the Vikings took control of the ball, the Eagles’ home crowd, teammates and coaches all chanted “defense,” and with each basket the Eagles scored, the crowd only cheered louder, filling the gym with anticipation and excitement.

With two minutes remaining, the Vikings were a mere two points ahead, and the pressure to win, for both teams, became increasingly high.

As the Vikings’ score inched forward, the Eagles followed. The fourth quarter ended with a three-pointer from co-captain and senior Tara Davar to tie the game 34–34, forcing the game into overtime.

Both teams followed each other closely, as the score was tied 38–38 with two minutes left in overtime. The Eagles then took a four-point lead, but the Vikings were quick to push back with a three-pointer of their own.

As foul after foul occurred, the Eagles were given a free-throw opportunity in the last 10 seconds of the game. Both shots were successful by junior Natalie Holm and LAHS was drawn right to the brink of victory.

Though a timeout was called with two seconds left, both teams acknowledged the winner of the game. Ultimately, the Eagles won 44–41, claiming a successful senior night.

“To be honest, I knew we’d come back in the second half,” Tara said. “Our team kind of always falls apart during the first [half], but after halftime in the locker room, we always come out strong to end our games.”

“We have a Ted Lasso ‘Believe’ sign that we slap”, Tara added. “Yeah, every team has one but ours is just unique… it’s drawn with marker and falls off every time [we slap it].”

Besides generic motivational remarks, the team’s locker room talks are also both strategic and uplifting.

“I was telling them, ‘we have the opportunity to come back; they’re gonna come out comfortable, so let’s make them uncomfortable’,” Tessa said. “And I think we did just that, we really pressured them too hard and they didn’t know what to do.”

With only one last game, the seniors will do their best to make the most of the last couple weeks of their high school basketball careers.

“We’ve had some rough times as a team,” Celeste said. “But we came back and gave it our all, and we ended the way we wanted. Everyone, including the bench and our coaches and the crowd and students, was fighting for each other like we’re all in this together.”

“There’s really no point in playing if you’re not gonna have fun,” Tara said. “Part of having fun is competing and putting in the hard work, but you also gotta support each other and build that team culture. Without the team, where’s the fun?”

The Eagles will play their final league game of the season next Tuesday, February 14, at Saratoga High School.