Every shot taken by a Carlmont High boys' basketball player somehow found a way to avoid the basket for the first six minutes of its game with visiting Hillsdale on Wednesday night.
What was Scots coach Dave Low supposed to say? Stop shooting?
"Sometimes you just have to remind them they can do this," Low said. "Instead of settling for the quick jump shot, they can make something happen by going to the basket."
The Scots recovered from their frigid start and eventually overcame a 12-point deficit to beat the Knights, 48-42, in a PAL South Division game that kept Carlmont tied with Burlingame and Mills at the top of the league standings.
The Scots (3-0, 14-1) have won 12 in a row and will look to extend that streak Friday when they travel to play at Menlo-Atherton.
"The kids started settling down a little bit," Low said. "They stopped trying to make the 'five-point' shots and just played."
Down 11-0, Carlmont senior Joe Pitocchi finally got his team on the board, converting a 3-point play with 1:26 left to play in the first quarter. That was merely a preview of what Pitocchi meant to the Scots.
He finished with a game-high 16 points and helped Carlmont gain an advantage in rebounding. Low and Hillsdale coach Brett Stephenson each acknowledged he was the difference in the game.
"Their size inside affected us," Stephenson said. "They were physical and they used their strengths."
The Scots trailed at one point, 15-3. As time expired in the first quarter Michael Costello hit a long 3-pointer to make it 15-6 and pump new life into Carlmont.
The Knights (2-1 in the PAL South Division, 10-5 overall) look to regain their momentum Friday when they host Capuchino as part of a quadruple header. The varsity boys are expected to start at 8 p.m.
Hillsdale jumped to an 11-0 lead with 1:43 left in the first quarter on a basket by Dominic Tanouye-Wolf.
Suddenly the baskets stopped falling, allowing the Scots (3-0, 14-1) to pull even at 24 by halftime.
"We went cold for a little bit," Stephenson said. "We had good looks but they didn't fall."
(Not to put too much pressure on the cheerleaders, but the Scots did not score until after the Carlmont cheerleaders showed up and started cheering.)
Carlmont took its first lead, at 29-28, with 5:34 remaining in the third quarter. That's when Mduduzi Hlatshawyo hit a 3-pointer.
Dante Fontenot hit a shot to put the Knights back on top, but the Scots took over for good when Costello hit a jumper with 2:11 left in the third quarter.
Junior Brian Houle scored 11 points to lead Hillsdale.
Burlingame defeated Aragon, 63-60, despite 20 points from Nick Frankel. The Dons (1-2, 10-5) are still considered one of the teams to beat in the PAL South Division and will look to gain a foothold in the victory column Friday when they visit San Mateo.
Burlingame, Carlmont and Mills are all 3-0 in league play. Hillsdale is right behind at 2-1.
In the WCAL, Serra beat St. Ignatius, 66-59, as Henry Caruso scored 23 points.
In PAL girls basketball there are four undefeated teams, each at 3-0: Burlingame, San Mateo, Woodside and Menlo-Atherton.