The boys' basketball race in the West Bay Athletic looks a little different than it did a year ago after the first three games of the season. For Menlo School, Sacred Heart Prep and Pinewood, that's a good thing.
Last season, the Knights and Gators opened 2-1 while the Panthers were 0-3. Following Tuesday night's games, all three squads are 3-0.
That's going to to change quickly as Sacred Heart Prep visits Pinewood on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Menlo, meanwhile, is at Priory and thus should remain atop the standings with the SHP-Pinewood winner. Next Tuesday, however, Menlo will visit Sacred Heart Prep in the first of two showdowns and, quite possible, for sole possession of first place.
Menlo won its third straight, all in the WBAL, and remained tied for first place following a 52-26 dismantling of visiting Eastside Prep on Tuesday night. The Knights (3-0, 4-9) had the luxury of resting injured starters Ryan Young and Alex Grossman, but still had enough offense as Liam Dunn (12 points) and Charlie Roth (11) led the way. The Panthers (1-1, 7-3) got to within 22-16 in the second quarter before the Knights went on a 7-0 run to grab a 29-16 halftime lead. Eastside Prep was held to just two points in the third quarter as Menlo pulled away.
In Sunnyvale, Kyle Murphy and Ryan Brice each tallied 14 points as Pinewood (3-0, 11-2) also remained tied for first place with a 60-49 victory over host King's Academy on Tuesday night. The Panthers made 13 3-pointers, with Murphy nailing four.
In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep (3-0, 7-4) had little trouble with visiting Priory while posting a 53-27 triumph. Sophomore Connor Moses, who made the team after being brought up from the JV squad to provide some depth in the preseason, had a season-high 12 points to pace the Gators. Junior Corbin Koch, who scored 64 points in three wins last week, added 11. SHP pulled away with a 32-11 first half.
With 6-foot-3 sophomore Destiny Graham scoring a game-high 17 points and pulling down eight rebounds, visiting Eastside Prep opened its WBAL (Foothill Division) season with 45-31 victory over Menlo School on Tuesday night.
The Panthers (1-0, 9-6) shot only 15 percent from 3-point range and just 33 percent (17 of 51) for the game, the visitors nonetheless made it difficult for the Knights (0-1, 8-6) with a variety of defenses that forced Menlo into 11-for-44 shooting (25 percent). The Knights also had 17 turnovers as Graham dominated at both ends of the court.
In Palo Alto, Castilleja opened its WBAL Skyline Division campaign with a 57-33 home victory over ICA. The Gators were missing point guard Ellie Chen, who was sidelined with illness, so Paige Vermeer stepped up with her first double-double of the season -- scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Castilleja (1-0, 6-7) led by only 27-21 late in the first half, but an 8-0 run capped by Maddie Tarr's buzzer-beater put the Gators on top 35-21 at halftime. The teams played an even third quarter before Castilleja's defense shut down the Spartans, holding them to a single point in the fourth quarter.
Center Yasmeen Afifi recorded her seventh double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and also blocked nine shots. Tarr pulled down 12 boards with four steals, and freshman Cate Alder added 10 points, five rebounds, four4 assists and four steals.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn senior guard Zoe Zwerling scored a career-high 28 points as the Titans (2-1, 3-3) rolled to a 53-45 victory over host Milpitas.
In San Jose, Palo Alto got enough points on offense but allowed a season high on defense while dropping an 81-61 decision to host Lynbrook. Freshman Amelia Schmarzo led the Vikings (1-2, 7-7) with 14 points.