Getting 19 points and 15 rebounds from junior center Keller Chryst, the Palo Alto boys' basketball team won its 16th straight game and opened a two-game lead in the SCVAL De Anza Division with a 59-43 victory over second-place and host Saratoga on Tuesday night.
The Vikings improved to 8-0 in league (18-1 overall) with four regular-season games remaining. Aubrey Dawkins added 19 points for Paly, which put up 21 points in the first and third quarters to hold off the Falcons (6-2, 15-5).
Chryst had his best all-around game of his Paly career with season highs for both points and rebounds. He'll miss Friday's home game against Homestead while attending the Super Bowl in New Orleans. His father, Geep, is the quarterbacks coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
Eilon Tzur added nine points for the Vikings. He and Chryst combined for 15 points in the third period to end any Saratoga comeback hopes.
In the West Bay Athletic League, Ricky Galliani poured in 22 points as Sacred Heart Prep remained tied for first place with a 65-42 victory over host King's Academy.
Corbin Koch added 20 points for the Gators (8-1, 12-7), who will host co-leader Menlo School on Friday (7:30 p.m.) to determine sole possession of first place. Menlo (7-1, 11-7) was in attendance after its game with Priory was postponed to next week.
In East Palo Alto, Pinewood handed host Eastside Prep (1-7, 9-8) a 50-30 loss.
In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn battled visiting Los Altos before finally dropping a 51-49 decision. The Titans (1-7, 4-14) held a 29-26 halftime lead before the Eagles pulled ahead in the third period. Chris Russell tallied 16 points for Gunn while teammate Max Girod added a season-high 15.
In the PAL South Division, the Menlo-Atherton at San Mateo game was not reported.
Eastside Prep and Pinewood remained in a virtual tie for first place in the WBAL Foothill Division after each team posted victories on Tuesday.
In East Palo Alto, the Panthers (6-1, 15-5) overcame a three-point first-quarter deficit and rolled to a 48-28 victory over visiting Sacred Heart Prep. Hashima Carothers tallied 16 points and Alexus Simon added 12 to rally Eastside, which help the Gators (3-4, 15-6) to single-digit scoring each quarter.
In San Francisco, Pinewood (5-1, 15-4) began a busy four-game week with a 61-43 win over host Mercy-San Francisco. The Panthers outscored the Skippers, 37-21, in the middle two quarters. Marissa Hing had 16 points while freshman Chloe Eackles had 11 points nine rebounds, five steals and five assists for Pinewood. Gabi Bade and Monique McDevitt combined for 23 points.
Pinewood will host Menlo School on Wednesday and Castilleja on Friday before playing in the annual Bentley Shootout in the East Bay on Saturday.
Menlo, meanwhile, overcame a hot-shooting Castilleja team for a 62-52 WBAL Foothill Division victory. The visiting Gators made a school-record six 3-pointers in the first half and grabbed a 30-25 lead.
Menlo's strength and size inside prevailed in the second half with Drew Edelman finishing with 17 points and nine rebounds while Olivia Pellarin added 13 points. Jasmin Williams contributed 11 points and seven assists for the Knights (4-2, 14-6) while Paige Vermeer scored a career-high 25 points for the Gators (0-7, 3-17).
Vermeer also had nine rebounds and four steals while teammate Yasmeen Afifi had five blocks and eight rebounds in the game, which featured six ties and nine lead changes.
In the PAL South Division, Menlo-Atherton overcame a three-point first-quarter deficit and pulled away for a 43-36 victory over visiting San Mateo. The Bears (6-1, 10-9) got 10 points each from Emma Heath and Naomi Baer while remaining a game back of first-place Woodside.