There are many changes this season for the Los Gatos High School girls basketball team.
Sami Field-Polisso, the Wildcats’ coach for the past five seasons, is now the St. Francis High coach. None of the starters return from last season’s 21-7 team that reached the Central Coast Section Division I championship game.
Matthew Holm, Los Gatos’ new head coach who was an assistant for the Wildcats last season, has five returners from last year’s varsity team – seniors Leila Herzi, Paige Fronczak and Gina Gelphman, junior Alexa Wong and sophomore Sabrina Belquist. Holm said that Alex Anthony, a junior last season, is playing volleyball at Santa Clara University next year and is focusing on volleyball.
The Wildcats opened their season with a 44-43 loss at Saratoga on Dec. 2. Los Gatos trailed by eight points at halftime, but rallied to nearly pull off the victory.
“I saw a lot of positives,” Holm said. “I was disappointed with the result, but we’ll take the first step and keep moving forward. I liked the aggressiveness, the court vision and the way we looked for each other.
“I was really pleased in how much better we looked in the second half.”
Holm said Monday that there is no set starting lineup. “I expect that we will be a team that will like to push the tempo … so there will be frequent substitutions,” he said.
The Wildcats are again in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division.
“I expect that every team will be tough,” Holm said.
Los Gatos went 3-0 at The King’s Academy Paul Spates Classic last week to improve its overall record to 4-0 this season.
In the first round, Los Gatos beat Lynbrook 79-42. The Wildcats took a 29-7 first-quarter lead and held a 42-14 lead at halftime. Dylan Belquist poured in a game-high 32 points, and there were four Wildcats that scored either eight or nine points in the victory.
Belquist also had a game-high eight rebounds and Frank Polisso passed for five assists. Robert Nelson had a team-high three steals for the Wildcats.
Los Gatos then beat Overfelt 78-31 on Dec. 1. Belquist scored 24 points, while teammates Jaan Jafri, Cade Taormina, Polisso and Nelson each had eight points apiece.
Nelson and Belquist led a balanced Wildcats rebounding performance with five each, and Polisso passed for a team-high seven assists. Belquist also had a team-high three steals.
The Wildcats capped their convincing performance at the Paul Stapes Classic with a 71-55 win over The King’s Academy on Dec. 2.
Beliquist had a game-high 30 points in the win, including 10-for-14 shooting from the field and 9-for-10 shooting from the free-throw line. Los Gatos pulled away with a 26-18 fourth-quarter scoring advantage. Taormina added 18 points.
Both Belquist and Polisso grabbed eight rebounds in the victory, and Polisso again led the team in assists with seven. He also had two steals, along with Joe Cavanaugh,
The Wildcats are hosting the 35th Annual Los Gatos Lions Club Wildcat Shootout from Dec. 5-8. The championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Dec. 8, preceded by the third-place game at 6:30 p.m.
Los Gatos girls basketball team opens season