Uploaded: Saturday, February 16, 2013, 9:09 AM
Menlo, Paly boys put finishing touches on titles
|The Palo Alto and Menlo School boys' basketball teams put the finishing touches on championship seasons and tuned up for next weeks Central Coast Section playoffs with solid victories on Friday night.
The Vikings (12-0) finished off a perfect season in the SCVAL De Anza Division with a 58-36 romp over host Milpitas while the Knights clinched their first West Bay Athletic League crown since 2009 with a 72-27 win over visiting Crystal Springs.
Menlo took the court by storm and never looked back en route to holding off second-place Sacred Heart Prep. The teams were only a game apart heading into the regular-season finale and thus Menlo needed a victory to prevent a co-title.
That was never a concern as the Knights (17-7 overall) won their 13th straight and won their second straight by an average of 45.5 points. They head into the CCS playoffs with plenty of momentum from those back-to-back dominating wins and, more importantly, a ramped-up defensive effort.
"We created those routs; and it's not so much the score, but we talked about getting better on defense," Menlo coach Delandro Leday said. "We were rebounding well and our on-the-ball defense was pretty good, but we needed to get better on the help side, and we did that tonight."
Menlo had plenty of offense with nine players scoring. Junior Jack Heneghan once again led the way, scoring 16 points -- 10 of those in the first quarter. Junior Ryan Young and sophomore Liam Dunn added 12 each while Shane Barratt and Nick Keller made Senior Night one to remember with a league title.
Menlo scored 10 unanswered points midway through the first quarter, and the Knights were off and running.
In Milpitas, senior forward Aubrey Dawkins poured in 23 points as Palo Alto won its 21st straight game with a 22-point win over the Trojans. The Vikings (23-1 overall) raced to a 38-15 halftime lead and cruised from there.
Dawkins was 4 of 6 from three-point range while Scotty Peery made 2 of 4 and finished with 10 points. Junior Keller Chryst pulled down 11 rebounds and Dawkins had five, four on the offensive end.
In other boys' games Friday:
Sacred Heart Prep had to settle for second place in the WBAL following a 52-36 win over defending champ Pinewood in Atherton. The Gators (12-2, 16-8) trailed by 19-14 at the half before pulling away with a 20-1 third quarter. Ian Bennett led the way with 19 points with Corbin Koch adding 14.
In East Palo Alto, Harker finished third in the WBAL following a 41-18 rout of host Eastside Prep (3-11, 14-12).
In the SCVAL El Camino Division, host Gunn battled to the end before dropping a 67-65 decision to Fremont in a regular-season finale for both teams. The Titans (2-10, 5-18) got 15 points from Max Girod, 13 from Chris Rea and 12 from Patrick Skelly. Gunn held a one-point lead at the half, but lost it in the third period before matching the Firebirds' 21 points in the final period.
As expected, the top two teams in the WBAL Foothill Division will play for the league playoff title on Saturday. That would be No. 1 Eastside Prep and Pinewood, who clash at Mercy-San Francisco at 5 p.m.
Eastside Prep beat Pinewood twice during the regular season, 53-38 and 47-34, but this will be the first meeting on a neutral floor.
Eastside Prep (19-6) got 16 points from sophomore Destiny Graham in a 56-24 romp over Sacred Heart Prep. The Panthers allowed only one point in the third third quarter.
Alexus Simon and Hashima Carothers added 12 points each for Eastside Prep while junior Meghan Holland tallied a game-high 17 to lead the Gators (18-8).
In the other semifinal, Pinewood (20-5) ran away with a 65-47 win over No. 3 Menlo School (17-9). The Panthers led by only 29-23 at halftime before pulling away.
Menlo got 16 points and eight rebounds from USC-bound center Drew Edelman, but that effort was offset by Pinewood's Chloe Eackles. The freshman made 8 of 10 field-goal attempts for 16 points in addition to grabbing six. Sophomores Marissa Hing and Gabi Bade added 14 and 13 points, respectively, while junior Leeana Bade pulled down 12 rebounds for Pinewood.
Menlo shot 24 percent from the field (13 of 55) while Pinewood shot 51 percent (24 of 47).
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto (5-7, 9-14) lost for the sixth time in seven games following a 43-37 setback to host Milpitas in a regular-season finale.
The Los Gatos at Gunn game was not reported.
Sacred Heart Prep finished the regular season on an 18-match unbeaten streak following a 1-0 victory over visiting King's Academy on Friday.
The Gators got a first-half goal from Will Mishra on an assist from Andrew Segre while improving to 12-0-2 in the West Bay Athletic League (15-2-3 overall). SHP wrapped up its fifth straight league title on Wednesday by beating visiting Menlo. Both teams will compete next week in the CCS Division III playoffs.
Elsewhere, Harker defeated host Pinewood, 4-1.
— Palo Alto Online Sports
Are you receiving Express, our free daily e-mail edition? See a sample and sign-up for Express.
There are no comments yet for this story.
Be the first!