The Palo Alto wrestling team pinned down the championship of the 25-team Webber Lawson Memorial tournament at Fremont High in Sunnyvale on Saturday. The Vikings scored 170.5 points to win comfortably over Live Oak, second with 131 points.
"We wrestled pretty well, especially in the early rounds," said Paly coach Dave Duran. "We had a few setbacks in the semifinal round, (but) came back strong in the wrestle-backs. A few more young kids filled in again this week (we have a few key wrestlers still out). It is still very early in the season, but this is a good way to start."
Palo Alto finished with eight placers -- led by Kalen Gans (170) and Nick Ortiz (132), both of whom won titles. Other placers included Jordan Smith (2nd at 113 pounds, Joey Christopherson (4th at 126), Jake Dagan (6th at 145), Jordan Gans (3rd at 152), Ryan Oshima (3rd at 160), and Jared Swezey-Gleason (3rd at 182).
At Gunn High, the host Titans took on three teams in dual-meet competition and went 3-0 on the day. Gunn defeated Lynbrook, 77-3, topped 15th-ranked Salinas, 72-12, and pinned No. 7-ranked Serra, 51-21.
Going undefeated for the Titans were Cadence Lee (106), James Perng and Michael Abramovich (113), Chris Jin (152), Stephen Martin (160), Aaron Davis (182), Sean Lydster (195), Harsha Mokkarala (220) and JJ Strnad (285).
Next up for the Titans will be Friday's SCVAL De Anza Division home opener against Los Altos at 5:30 p.m. The following day, Gunn travels to James Lick in San Jose for the Lynn Dyche Classic.
Pinewood overcame a 44-22 deficit in the third quarter to topple previously undefeated Berean Christian, 57-56, in the dramatic championship game of the John McMillan Classic on Saturday in Cloverdale. It was Pinewood's second title in as many weeks.
Pinewood's Bradley Naumann took six second-half charges and fellow senior Solomone Wolfgramm had 23 points 14 rebounds and four assists as the Panthers (7-1) employed a halfcourt trapping scheme that changed the momentum of the game and stifled Berean's high-scoring offense.
Pinewood took its first lead of the game with :06 remaining after a steal by Dante Fraioli and a layup by senior Cameron Helvey. Wolfgramm was named tournament Most Valuable Player and was joined on the all-tournament team by Helvey.
In Livermore, Palo Alto had a shot at a possible second title in a row until host Granada hit a 25-foot shot at the buzzer to escape with a 57-54 triumph in the Granada Tournament on Saturday night.
Paly junior E.J. Floreal tallied 21 points and was named to the all-tournament team along with teammate Alec Wong. Senior Israel Hakim added 16 points for the Vikings (5-1) with junior Aubrey Dawkins adding 11.
In San Jose, Eastside Prep remained perfect after seven games following a 51-41 overtime victory over host Pacific Collegiate on Saturdayu. The Panthers outscored their host in the extra period, 12-2. Junior Dae-Von Bishop paced Eastside Prep with 18 points with sophomore Johnnie Walton adding 14.
In Los Gatos, Menlo School (2-1) grabbed third place in the Wildcat Shootout with a 67-52 win over host Los Gatos on Friday night. Senior Richard Harris had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Knights and was named to the all-tournament team.
In Portola Valley, 6-9 senior Gabor Somogyi scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Priory raced to an early lead and posted a 60-47 nonleague victory over visiting Alma Heights on Saturday. The Panthers (2-0) got 15 points and 10 rebounds from 6-6 freshman Andy Isopkephi, who also had five of his team's eight blocks.
Palo Alto ran up against a tough Presentation team and dropped a 40-27 decision in the finals of the Pinewood Classic on Saturday.
Presentation got out to an early lead and the Vikings never could make up the deficit. Paly (2-1) missed a lot of easy baskets at close range and Presentation's defense forced a number of rushed shots to make the outcome fairly decisive.
The Vikings' defense was very active, as well, and kept them within a 10-point range until the end of game. Paly's Emilee Osagiede and Josie Butler were named to the all-tournament team.
"This was a very fun game to coach from a defensive perspective, although we were frustrated on the offensive end with poor shot selection and easy misses," said Paly coach Scott Peters. "I think our defense played with a lot of energy and heart. Overall, the tournament provided us with three good games with which we can learn from and pointed out some areas where we need to improve on as a team."
In the third-place game, Gunn (4-3) couldn't rebound from a semifinal loss to Presentation a night earlier and dropped a 45-40 decision to Scotts Valley.
In the seventh-place game, Pinewood (2-2) got 22 points and six rebounds from Leeana Bade and 13 points with four rebounds and four assists from Marissa Hing in a 62-24 victory over Evergreen Valley.
In Pacifica, Castilleja rebounded from a slow start to claim a victory over Woodside in the seventh-place game of the Terra Nova Invitational on Saturday.
Freshman Paige Vermeer scored eight of her game- and career-high 14 points in the second half for the Gators (4-4). Trailing three entering the final frame, Castilleja reeled off seven straight points to take a four-point lead with five minutes remaining. Woodside answered with a pair of buckets to tie the game at 30, but would not score again in the game's final four minutes as Castilleja forged their second 7-0 run of the quarter to end the contest.
Castilleja took full advantage of Woodside's sloppy play as the Gators forced 29 turnovers and outscored the Wildcats, 17-6, on points off turnovers. Vermeer also recorded a career-high seven steals while junior Lauren Rantz tallied a career-best nine blocked shots to go along with her team highs of seven boards and four assists. The nine rejections are the fourth most by a player in school history.
In Piedmont, Eastside Prep finished off a 3-1 performance in the Paris Twins Classic with a 60-48 victory over host Piedmont High on Saturday night. Junior center Hashima Carothers led the Panthers (4-4) with 21 points and 26 rebounds.
Eastside Prep also beat St. Patrick/St. Vincent, 55-39, and Oakland Tech, 57-37, while losing only to Mt. Pleasant, 54-37.
Anisah Smith tallied 24 points against St. Patrick/St. Vincent and had 18 in the win over Oakland Tech. Carothers had 53 points and 64 rebounds in the three victories.