Uploaded: Saturday, February 9, 2013, 8:27 PM
Gunn girls remain in three-way tie for first in hoop race
|By Andrew Preimesberger
Palo Alto Online Sports
Junior guard Zoe Zwerling scored 27 points to carry Gunn to a dominating 55-19 SCVAL De Anza Division girls' basketball win over visiting Palo Alto on Saturday.
"It's a good win for us," said Gunn head coach Sarah Stapp, whose team won the Central Coast Section Division I title last season over Paly. "We're in a position where we are tied for first place in league right now. Every game for us is really important."
The team's fifth straight victory kept the Titans (8-2, 15-5) tied for first place with Lynbrook (9-2, 19-4) and Wilcox (8-2, 20-2). Gunn created a three-way tie at the top with a 38-31 win over Lynbrook on Friday. The Vikings, meanwhile, fell to 5-6 (9-13 overall) and have lost five of their past six games.
Zwerling got off to a hot start as she scored six of the Titans' 15 points, leading her team to a 15-1 first-quarter lead. The Palo Alto offense couldn't get anything started as it failed to make a field goal. The Titans' defense held the Vikings scoreless (0 for 14) from the field and created 15 turnovers as Paly trailed 23-2 at halftime.
"It was just energy, being on the same page, and hustling after loose balls," said Zwerling. "We had a great effort on defense tonight."
The Vikings' offense struggled all game long as it sank only five of 40 field-goal attempts and gave up the ball 21 times.
Gunn's offense wouldn't go away in the third quarter as it started off on a 13-4 run. Zwerling and senior Nora Shevick each knocked down long three-pointers. Gunn grew its lead to a commanding 37-11 after the third quarter.
Zwerling was unstoppable in the fourth quarter as she scored 16 of the Titans' 18 points and went 10 for 10 from the line.
"It's important to keep winning from here on out," said Zwerling. "We're celebrating this win tonight and then we have to move on because we have a big game in Wilcox on Wednesday."
The Titans are set to take on host Wilcox Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Chargers are working on a six-game winning streak and will face a Gunn team that has played three games without starting point guard Claire Klausner, out with mononucleosis.
Palo Alto will finish its regular season against Milpitas next Friday.
Gunn nearly pulled off the upset of the season before finally dropping a 54-41 nonleague decision to visiting Palo Alto on Saturday. The Titans (5-16) led after one quarter (12-10), halftime (26-17) and still were tied with the Vikings at 39 heading into the fourth quarter.
Palo Alto (22-1), however, held Gunn to just two points in the final period and came away with its 20th straight victory. Aubrey Dawkins and Aldis Petriceks each had 16 points for Paly while Zach Wang led Gunn with 13.
Paly's Keller Chryst pulled down 11 rebounds and Dawkins added seven boards. Teammate Eilon Tzur contributed 10 points.
Menlo School saw its perfect season in the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) come to an end in a 1-1 deadlock with host Sacred Heart Prep on Saturday. The division champion Knights moved to 10-0-1 in league (12-2-5 overall) while the Gators wrapped up their regular season at 5-2-5 (9-4-6).
Menlo came out strong early and went on top in the 14th minute of the match when Lizzie Lacy switched the fields with a long ball to Jamie Corley, who then found Sienna Stritter running to goal. Stritter took the pass, dribbled the goalkeeper and scored from close range.
In the second half, SHP created some scoring chances and finally equalized 23 minutes in when Alex Bourdillon broke free and converted a good scoring opportunity off a through ball from Blair Hamilton. Menlo pushed to get the game-winner, but could not convert a couple of late scoring opportunities. Menlo outshot SHP, 15-7.
In Portola Valley, Priory remained in third place with 19 points following a 2-1 win over visiting Castilleja on Saturday. Erin Simpson (assist Caitlin Teoman) scored in the 61st minute with senior Mariana Galvan providing the winning goal in the 80th minute off an assist by Teoman.
The Panthers (5-2-4, 6-4-6) can finish in second place by beating visiting Menlo on Tuesday. A tie will give the Panthers a share of second place with Sacred Heart Prep, which finished its regular season with 20 points.
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