Titan hoops bring momentum into Viking tilt

Gunn defeated Pinewood Thursday by 9 to create some momentum before their matchup Saturday versus the cross-town rival Paly. Gunn stands at 14-2, with a four-game winning streak. 69-60, I have it as.

Jonathan Davis drained a few key threes to keep the Titans ahead of the Panthers, nipping at their ankles. Chris Russell, who missed a squeaker victory Tuesday hosting Lynbrook, finally found his range and contributed a key bucket down the stretch.

Mostly the game was dominated, as typical, by the passing: Lee-Heidenreich to Gil-Fernandez to Lee-Heidenreich, et cetera. Andre Augustin along with Jonathan Davis did a decent job beating the press with the dribble.

Gunn also controlled the boards. At halftime, Gunn was up 22-9 on the boards, and had several offensive putbacks for goals.

Pinewood tried to foul their way back into the lead, but the strategy back-fired as the Titans hit their free throws. It is understandable if scouting reports confuse Gunn with the Butch Cassidy character in the movies who can only hit the target if he can move.

Alex Gil-Fernandez and Chris Russell both had lay-ins that thwarted the Panthers do or die defense. A few minutes earlier, one of the Lee-H brothers suffered a deep scratch on his face from an overzealous and under-groomed Panther. Hopefully he had a recent tetanus booster, our man in red.

Gunn can go 12 deep in its rotation. Although the dribbling is sometimes sketchy, at other times the passing game is jaw-dropping and poetic.

There’s a weird real estate sub-plot this week in that the Panthers play on a campus that is actually PAUSD property with a long ground lease — the former Fremont Hills elementary (my home turf for 5th and 6th, although we played outdoors and there was no gym). Meanwhile, a former Panther player and coach, Jason Peery has offered to build a new Paly gym.

If I reported previously that the Gunn-Paly matchup was at “The Titensity Taj Mahal” i.e. a home game, I think the schedule did list it as on Arastradero. Mel Froli, who has watched or called as many Gunn games as anyone, claims that Brandynn Williams, a former Paly player now coaching the SoPA Supers, wanted the switch so that he can ruin the Vikings farewell to their famous Pit.

I would say Gunn is a slight underdog going in, but can pull off a “W” with team play and a little patience and poise.

Another small subplot is that Gunn reserve Lukas Dorward has a younger brother who plays for the Vikes.

check back to see if I can link to the photos taken by a MaxPreps stringer named Doug Stringer.

also: city councilman Tom Dubois is likely to attend the game as he has a boy at Gunn in the band and coached several of the Titans and Vikings at AAU youth basketball, including Noah Steinbrenner, who I misidentified in a previous post.

and1: I caught about half of a radio broadcast 89.1 FM (M-A high) of Sequoia over Burlingame, 74-68. I was listening for news of Chris Bene who is the nephew of the former Menlo three-sport athlete Tony Fenwick. I first met Tony at Stanford basketball camp when we were 12 or 13. His kin seems like a D-1 prospect and went for 29 as his team is now 18-3.

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About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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