Paly girls win battle of possible CCS soccer contenders

In a showdown between two girls' soccer teams that made the Central Coast Section playoffs last season, visiting Palo Alto handed Menlo School a 2-0 loss in nonleague on Tuesday.

Palo Alto's first goal was scored by Aoi Sugihara on an assist from Sunny Lyu from 25 yards out in the 25th minute. Menlo nearly equalized minutes later when senior Amanda McFarland's 20-yard shot hit the crossbar and Menlo was unable to convert the rebound.

Palo Alto pushed its lead to 2-0 in the second half on a breakaway goal from Katie Foug off an assist from Megan Tall, who shielded a defender with her back before slipping a pass to Foug.

Elsewhere in nonleague action, host Menlo-Atherton posted an impressive 2-1 victory over St. Ignatius on a frigid Tuesday. The Bears (2-0-2) got on the board first when junior Amanda Wiseman found sophomore Miranda Simes on the left flank. Simes fed the ball to freshman Katie Guenin, whose initial shot deflected off the keeper, but she was able to finish her own shot in the 20th minute of the first half.

St. Ignatius struck right back when sophomore Veronica Alberts crossed the ball into senior Lindsay Bettinger, who finished with a one-touch shot in the net less than a minute after M-A had scored.

In the second half, M-A senior Cayla Stillman scored the winning goal when she scored off a beautiful cross from junior Carolyn Hunt-Gonzales. Junior goalkeeper Jacqueline Foody had a number of saves, including an impressive save of a 1v1 breakaway.

At Los Altos Hills, host Pinewood (1-2) got one goal and three assists from Nicole Colonna in a 4-1 nonleague victory over Crystal Springs.

Boys soccer

Palo Alto opened play in the Oak Grove Gold Cup with a 1-1 deadlock with visiting Milpitas on Tuesday.

Paly (2-1-1) had a number of chances at the beginning of the game, but could not the ball in the net. Milpitas had a couple of opportunities at the start of the second half. Paly settled down and had a very good second half, yet came away with only one goal when Dami Bolarinwa took a Wesley Woo pass and slammed it past the Milpitas keeper in the 30th minute.

Paly played in the Winter Soccer Classic in Pleasanton last week finishing fifth out of 10 teams. The Vikings next host Menlo School on Thursday in the Oak Grove tournament on the El Camino field at 3:30 p.m.

Boys basketball

Priory remained unbeaten after four games following a 67-51 nonleague win over host St. Thomas More. Scotty Harris led the Panthers with 26 points with Andy Isokpehi adding 21. Priory blew the game open with 31 points in the second quarter to grab a 39-24 halftime lead.

At the Los Gatos Lions Club Wildcat Shootout, Gunn (4-2) opened tourney play with a 67-41 win over Lincoln (San Jose).

In Richmond, Menlo School (0-3) fell to Salesian, 60-38. The Knights trailed by two after the first period, then Salesian pulled away in the second quarter for a 15-point halftime lead. Menlo came out of the half with a lively effort.

"I was proud of our guys because we knew the task at hand was going to be tough, but that didn't take away our passion and effort to go out and perform at a high level," Menlo coach Delandro Leday said. "We made some mistakes that we can correct by holding our turnovers down and being a little more patience with our offense."

Menlo guard Bobby Roth scored a team-high 11 points while Wes Miller had six rebounds, five points, two blocks and two assists. Alex Grossman scored eight more for the Knights.

"The guys were talking on defense and just making a conscious effort to leave everything on the floor, Leday said. "Alex Grossman and Wes Miller were great on the defense end with rebounding and (not backing down from Salesian and 6-foot-10 center Jonathan Holloway on offense)," Leday said. "The growth displayed was unbelievable and we look to carry that throughout the season."

Girls basketball

Sacred Heart Prep saw its unbeaten string end in a 58-42 nonleague loss to host Valley Christian on Tuesday in San Jose. The Gators (3-1) fell behind by 31-21 at the half. Caroline Cummings scored a season-high 16 points in a losing cause.

In Oakland, Castilleja (1-3) dropped a 62-32 nonleague decision to host Oakland High despite getting 14 points from 6-foot-3 junior Yasmeen Affifi and 10 points from sophomore Ellie Chen.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics


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