Pinewood, Eastside Prep girls continue preseason hoop success

When the West Bay Athletic League girls' basketball race begins in January, look for Eastside Prep and Pinewood to once again battle for Foothill Division honors.

That battle also should continue into the postseason for the Central Coast Section and NorCal Division V championships.

Both teams continue to impress in the preseason, their most recent outings coming Saturday at the annual Presentation Shootout in San Jose.

Pinewood (7-0) remained perfect with a 61-57 triumph over Berkeley and Eastside Prep (8-2) rolled top an 80-31 triumph over Christopher School of Gilroy.

Eastside Prep senior Alexus Simon scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Panthers won easily. Simon, who was the Most Valuable Player in last weekend's Paris Sisters Classic, received plenty of support against Christopher as 6-foot-3 Destiny Graham had 21 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks; Charmaine Braford finished with seven points, 14 assists and just two turnovers; and Chacitty Cunningham added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Panthers, who have only six players on their roster, dressed just five for this game.

A lack of bodies isn't a problem at Pinewood as those Panthers have a deep roster. Against Berkeley, eight players reached the scoring column with senior Leeana Bade leading the way with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Junior guard Marissa Hing added 10 points plus five assists while sophomore Chloe Eackles finished with seven points, nine rebounds and three steals for coach Doc Scheppler.

Pinewood is back in action Monday night with a scheduled game at Westmoor. The Panthers will take a few days off before heading into the Sand Dune Classic at St. Ignatius, beginning Thursday.

Eastside Prep, meanwhile, will continue its preseason by hosting the second annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic starting Friday. The Panthers will open against Torres of Los Angeles at 8 p.m.

In other nonleague action this past Saturday:

Menlo School rallied from a 21-17 halftime deficit and pulled out a 51-44 victory over visiting Burlingame. Freshman Sam Erisman led the Knights (4-3) with 19 points with senior Donya Dehnad adding 16 points. Hannah Paye contributed 13 points for Menlo.

Menlo next plays Thursday in the first round of the Notre Dame Back to School Tournament against Northgate at 4:30 p.m.

In San Jose, Castilleja (4-4) dropped a 47-39 decision to host Silver Creek. Gators' junior center Yasmeen Afifi recorded her fifth double- double of the season and just missed a triple- double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 16 rebounds to go along with nine blocked shots. Ellie Chen scored 15 points and Paige Vermeer added eight points and seven steals. The Gators were without starting forward Maddie Tarr, who missed the game due to an injury.

Castilleja resumes play next week in the Monterey Bay Sweet 16 Holiday Tournament.

The Palo Alto at Evergreen Valley and San Jose at Sacred Heart Prep games were not reported.

Boys basketball

Palo Alto (2-3) bounced back from a loss to Leland and defeated Oak Grove, 61-49 in the third-place game of the White Division at the D.J. Frandsen Memorial Tournament at Bellarmine Prep on Saturday night. A 16-5 first-quarter advantage by the Vikings proved to be the difference while junior Kevin Mullin tossed in 18 points and dished out five assists to lead the way.

Junior Jonathan Rojahn added 11 points and senior Noah Phillips had 10 points and six boards while senior Keesean Johnson pulled down eight rebounds.

Palo Alto, which plays its home opener on Monday night against Willow Glen at 7 p.m., next will compete in the Windsor Tournament starting Thursday.

Also at the D.J. Frandsen event, Sacred Heart Prep (2-4) got 26 points from Corbin Koch in a 59-53 loss to Leland in the championship game of the White Division.

In Atherton, Menlo-Atherton (4-2) handed visiting Tennyson a 61-39 loss. No other details were provided. The Bears next will compete in the North Monterey County tournament starting Thursday.

In Half Moon Bay, Menlo School played the unbeaten Cougars (7-0) tough before finally dropping a 40-38 nonleague decision. The Knights (1-5) trailed by 31-21 entering the final period before putting up 17 fourth-quarter points to make it close. Bobby Roth's 11 points led Menlo.

Girls soccer

Menlo-Atherton finished off a 2-0-1 performance in the Burlingame Girls Soccer Tournament by posting a 1-0 victory over Los Altos on Saturday at Burlingame High and winning the Bracket D title in the tournament.

The Bears (4-0-2) and Eagles battled in a very physical game that finished deadlocked at 0-0 in the first half with each team managing to only get off a couple of shots. In the second half, M-A became the aggressor by firing off six shots and forcing five saves by the Los Altos keeper.

The only goal of the match came when senior midfielder Cayla Stillman beat a defender and set up a 3 on 1 against the lone defender back for Los Altos. Stillman fed junior forward Annie Harrier on the right wing, who took a couple of touches toward the net before converting a beautiful shot to the far post.

Los Altos managed only one shot in the second half and had a few other limited opportunities with two corner kicks and one free kick. However, the solid defense by seniors Julie Stoner and Kelly Eason, as well as sophomores Jordan Olesen and Kelsey Reed, along with two saves by sophomore Ilana Winawer preserved the shutout for Menlo-Atherton.

In the Bracket B title match, Woodside defeated Priory, 5-0.

Boys soccer

Palo Alto let a 3-1 halftime lead slip away and suffered a 4-3 loss to host Oak Grove in the championship soccer match of the two-bracket Oak Grove Gold Cup on Saturday in San Jose.

The Vikings (4-3-1) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute on a goal by Dami Bolarinwa off an assist by Cina Vazir. Four minutes later, Fernando Rodriguez took a pass from Steven Blatman and made it a 2-0 match. Six minutes after that, Bolarinwa converted a penalty kick before Oak Grove ended the shutout five minutes before halftime.

In the second half, Oak Grove scored 13 minutes in and again five minutes later to tie the match at 3. Paly went back on the attack in attempt to go back in front. Despite five or six near scores, Paly went away empty. Oak Grove then took a breakaway that was not cleared well enough and took a shot from near the end line and scored on the final goal of the match. Paly had a number of chances in the last three minutes but came away with no conversions.

"What a game," said Paly coach Don Briggs. "Something we are going to have to fix to have success in the De Anza Division."

At the Homestead Christmas Cup, Priory dropped a 3-0 decision to Hillsdale in the Silver Division championship game in Sunnyvale.

"Tough game," said Priory coach Paul Moran, whose team fell to 2-1-1. "We had no subs."

Priory placed Austin Mirabella, Bailey Marshek and Sergio Lopez on the all-tournament team.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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