The Palo Alto High gym, which has been around for more than 100 years, will be torn down this June to make way for a new athletics facility. Thus, Thursday's night dual match between the Gunn and Paly wrestling teams was the final one for the old building.
While it would have been fitting for the host Vikings to go out with a bang, the magic wasn't there as Gunn pulled out a 46-34 triumph. The Titans improved to 3-1 (6-1) and kept their hopes for a SCVAL De Anza Division dual-match title alive.
Both Palo Alto and Gunn will be competing in the prestigious two-day Mid Cal Invitational at Gilroy High. Prelims are Friday and finals Saturday.
Both squads had a good tuneup with their annual rivalry showdown, which was ultimately decided by two forfeits by the Vikings. Nine of the 14 matches ended with a pin.
Gunn trailed before Eric Calderson (220) and Kirill Demyanenko (285) both won by forfeit. That tied the match at 28 with four matches remaining.
Gunn's Michael Abramovitch pinned Paly's Ethan Ho at 106 pounds, Gunn's Cadence Lee won at 113 with a pin over Dylan Williams and Gunn's David Abramovitch clinched the victory at 120 by pinning Alexa Austin.
Connor Bonfiglio came up with his second straight big scoring game to lead host Priory to a 56-44 victory over Eastside Prep in West Bay Athletic League action Thursday. The game was rescheduled from an earlier date.
Bonfiglio tossed in 22 points after scoring a career-high 30 earlier in the week. Andy Isokpehi and Scott Harris each added 17 as only three players scored for Priory (2-3, 9-4). Eastside Prep (1-4, 7-6) was led by D'Andre Stamper's 15 points while Darius Riley added 12.
Menlo-Atherton returned to its winning ways on Thursday by defeating visiting Hillsdale, 5-2, after suffering the first loss of the season earlier in the week -- to Carlmont. Despite that loss, the Bears are back tied for first place with Woodside, both with 4-1-1 league records.
Hillsdale seized the early momentum in the first five minutes of the game and pressured M-A with several early shots. M-A sophomore keeper Ilana Winawer made a leaping save on a shot headed for the upper corner. The Knights pressure finally yielded a goal after a back pass got behind the defense to take a 1-0 lead.
M-A (4-1-1, 8-1-3) countered on a breakaway when junior Annie Harrier fed freshman forward Katie Guenin, who raced past the defense and finished with a nice move on the keeper.
Harrier picked off a pass minutes later and drove it into the net for an unassisted goal and 2-1 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Harrier picked off a back pass and scored another unassisted goal to put M-A on top 3-1. Shortly thereafter, Guenin found sophmore Talia Missan on a pass to the center. Missan finished with a nice shot into the corner putting M-A up 4-1 at the half.
In the second half, Harrier completed a hat trick by finishing a cross from senior Cayla Stillman to put M-A up 5-1. Hillsdale tried to mount a comeback with a second goal, and managed to hit several balls off the crossbar, but the defense, led by five saves by junior goalkeeper Jacqueline Foody, allowed M-A to finish on top.
In the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division), Sacred Heart Prep moved into a tie for first place with a 5-0 win over host King's Academy, the defending CCS Division III champion. The Gators improved to 4-0-1 (10-1-2 overall) to tie Menlo School.
Sophomore Tierna Davidson provided the winning goal in the 39th minute, unassisted, before senior Alex Bourdillon made it 2-0 on the first of two assists by freshman Cameron Gordon. Sophomore Riley Shanahan took a pass from Gordon in the 45th minute and made it 3-0 before senior Maddy Jones scored in the 64th minute off an assist from junior Christine Callinan. Junior Emma Markey wrapped up the scoring in the 75th minute off an assist from junior Hailey Goldberg.
In Portola Valley, Priory freshman Alicia Talancon scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 victory over visiting Castilleja in WBAL Foothill Division play. First two goals were unassisted coming in the 26th and 30th minutes with the third goal coming in the 56th minute, assisted by senior Erin Simpson. Simpson and senior Margaret Shields also scored.
In San Jose, Pinewood dropped a tough 1-0 loss to host Notre Dame-San Jose in WBAL Foothill Division action at Watson Park. The Panthers (2-4, 3-11) fielded only 10 players for the entire game and held up nicely against a team with a lot of substitutes up to about 20 minutes from the end. But, ultimately, Pinewood was outnumbered and the Regents were able to slip a goal past the Panthers' defense.