Carlmont eyeing top of standings in competitive PAL 

The Carlmont High School boys’ basketball team is looking like the team to beat this year. Unfortunately for the Scots, they are playing in a league full of teams to beat.

“It’s a division [where] all six teams are going to be good this year,” Carlmont coach Dave Low said. “I can easily see the first-place team finishing with two or three losses.”

The Scots finished 8-2 in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division last year, tying Mills for the league championship; and after falling to Gilroy in the quarterfinals of the Central Coast Section playoffs, finished the year at 22-6. 

Carlmont comes into this year’s Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division opener with a 9-4 mark after having a five-game win streak snapped by an overtime loss to Woodside on Tuesday. Carlmont opens Bay Division play with a tough road contest against Terra Nova on Wednesday.

But Low feels his team has a very good chance to repeat as league champions and try to make a deeper run into the postseason.

“We have better depth on the bench this year,” said Low, who has 16 players on the roster this year. “The kids really understand their roles.”

The Scots also have a pretty good indication of how this year will play out, having already faced Half Moon Bay in the finals of the Lowell Cardinal Classic last month, a six-point loss. But Carlmont has also defeated some solid competition in their preseason ramp-up to league play.

“Even though the record is good, we’re still going through some growing pains,” Low said. “But yes, I am happy where we’re at so far.”

Even though he has a high number of players on the varsity squad, only a couple of them have any appreciable varsity experience. Senior James Testa, a transfer from league rival Terra Nova, will look to carry the load for the Scots.

“He’s definitely our best player,” Low said.

Junior Josh Faulkner is looking to build on his first year of varsity play last season while sophomore David Hobbs may prove to be a key newcomer to the Scots.

The Scots will look to avoid any high-scoring games and rely on their defense to control the game.

If the Scots can follow that game plan consistently, Low figures they’ll be back on top of the league standings next month as league play is wrapping up.

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