Uploaded: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 9:52 AM
Pinewood girls off to a good start in hoops
|The Pinewood girls' basketball team suffered through a rare losing season in the West Bay Athletic League last year, winning only four of 10 Foothill Division games.
The Panthers, however, are well ahead of where they were a year ago at this point of the season following a solid 48-28 victory over host Sacred Heart Prep in a division opener for both teams on Wednesday night.
Pinewood (1-0, 11-3) clamped down defensively on the Gators (0-1, 11-3) and held them to single-digit scoring each quarter while limiting the Gators' sister tandem of Melissa and Meghan Holland to just nine points combined.
Pinewood sophomore point guard Marissa Hing led the way with 15 points while sophomore Monique McDevitt added 12. The Panthers also won the battle of the boards with 43 rebounds, with freshman Chloe Eackles pulling down eight, and were near-perfect from the free-throw line (18 for 21).
Pinewood next will test league co-favorite and host Eastside Prep on Friday.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn maintained a three-way tie for first place with Palo Alto and Wilcox following a 59-21 romp over host Milpitas on Wednesday night.
The Titans (2-0, 9-3) put the game away by outscoring the Trojans, 33-4, over the second and third quarters. Zoe Zwerling and Olivia Tapia led Gunn with 14 points each, Sarah Longyear had eight rebounds plus six points while while Zwerling, Tapia, Claire Klausner and Nora Shevick all had four steals.
In a close game where neither team led by more than six points, Palo Alto remained unbeaten in the De Anza Division with a 43-39 victory over visiting Saratoga.
Trailing by one at halftime, the Vikings (2-0, 6-7) took the lead for good in the third quarter thanks to some aggressive defense and offense by junior Charlotte Alipate.
With the game still close in the fourth quarter, Paly's Annie Susco hit a three-pointer to give the Vikings a six-point lead with under a minute to play. Freshman Maddie Atwater hit a trio of treys in the game and finished with 12 points. Freshman Siggi Bengston made her season debut for Paly and contributed nine points while providing a spark during her time on the court.
"This game was a gut check for our team as things did not go smoothly for our team, but we found a way to win," said Paly coach Scott Peters.
In the Peninsula Athletic League, Emma Heath tossed in 12 points as Menlo-Atherton opened play in the South Division with a 40-25 victory over host Hillsdale. The Bears (1-0, 5-8) snapped a three-game losing streak by pulling away to a 19-10 halftime lead and taking a 33-15 lead into the fourth quarter.
Priory senior Andy Dolezalek tossed in 14 points and the Panthers exploded for 27 points in the third quarter while rolling to a 66-31 victory over visiting Crystal Springs in a WBAL opener for both teams on Wednesday. Andy Isokpehi, Connor Bonfiglio and Chris Perez all added 12 points for the Panthers (1-0, 4-4), who held a 53-20 lead after three periods.
In the PAL South Division, Menlo-Atherton (0-1, 4-9) continued to struggle and dropped its fourth straight, 44-42, to visiting Hillsdale to open the division season.
Menlo School opened its WBAL season in a big way with a 5-0 victory over visiting Crystal Springs on Wednesday. The Knights improved to 4-2-1 overall.
After a scoreless first half, Menlo started the second half with greater intent and it quickly paid off. Ten minutes into the half, Menlo won a free kick near midfield that allowed sophomore Kyle Perez to play a dangerous ball into the box, which junior Justin Wang headed powerfully into the side netting for a 1-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Perez and junior Matt Myers caught the Gryphons' defense off guard and played a short corner, ultimately finding senior Ryan Karle at the top of the box. Karle controlled the ball with his first touch and buried his shot into the back of the net. Karle was again involved a minute later when he beat his defender down the line and served a cross into the box, which Perez was able to put away for a 3-0 lead.
Menlo senior Andrew Stepien added a fourth goal with a big strike off a late corner. Junior Jordan Vasquez made it 5-0 when he pounced on a rebound off another corner in injury time.
Menlo senior Jack Redman, juniors Matt Linton and Justin Wang and freshman Andrew Arnold (among others) helped senior keeper and co-captain Timmy Costa earn his fourth shutout of the season with some strong defending throughout the contest.
In another WBAL opener, defending champion Sacred Heart Prep got two goals from Robert Hellman in a 4-2 victory over host Priory. Brendan Spillane made it a 1-0 match with a penalty kick before Hellman provided the winning goals. Willy Lamb wrapped up the scoring with an assist from Spillane as the Gators improved to 4-2-1 overall.
Priory got a goal from Austin Mirabella before Sergio Lopez tallied the second.
— Palo Alto Online Sports
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