Uploaded: Saturday, March 2, 2013, 8:30 AM
Menlo boys, girls sweep CCS basketball titles
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|By Andrew Preimesberger
Palo Alto Online Sports
Menlo School made history on Friday night at Foothill College as its girls' and boys' basketball teams triumphed together in their respective Central Coast Section Division IV title games for the first time since 1991.
Getting 23 points, 22 rebounds and four blocks from senior center Drew Edelman, the Menlo girls captured their title with a 55-32 win over rival Sacred Heart Prep.
The No. 2-seeded Knights (20-9) earned their first section crown since 1995 while toppling the No. 5 Gators (21-9) for the first time in a CCS finale since 1991.
"It has been a long time," said Menlo coach John Paye, who also coached the Knights to their title-game win over SHP in 1991. "This year has been tough because we've had so many injuries. This is the first time we've had all 11 players healthy and ready to go. We used every single one of them."
"I'm really excited," said Edelman. "We've never gotten this far; this is my first time actually making to the finals at CCS and to come out and win it -- it just feels great."
The Knights jumped off to a hot start in the first quarter with a 16-2 run with junior guard Maddy Price accounting for seven of the 16. The Menlo offense turned it up even more in the second quarter and built a 20-point lead on the Gators going into halftime, 29-9.
Edelman did not slow down after halftime; she scored eight points in the first two minutes of the third quarter and made a great put-back shot over two defenders.
"She (Edelman) is getting better and better every practice," said Menlo head coach John Paye. "She's delivered for us in each the past four years."
The senior averaged 23 points and 17.3 rebounds per game in CCS.
Sacred Heart Prep, playing in its first title game since 2002, finished second for the eighth time while playing in the program's 20th championship game since 1988.
Both Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep will advance to the CiF NorCal playoffs beginning next week.
Later in the evening, the Menlo boys ousted Half Moon Bay, 46-41, as junior guard Bobby Roth led the Knights with 13 points, including two key three-pointers.
The No. 3-seeded Knights (20-7) won their first CCS title since 2009 while the fourth-seeded Cougars dropped to 22-7. Both teams will advance to the CIF NorCal playoffs next week.
"It's indescribable right now," said Roth. "Tonight we really had the presence on defense; it shows our team comaraderie and our great bond we have on the court."
The Knights' offense struggled to put points on the board as it made only one field goal and six points while trailing, 12-6, at the end of the first quarter.
The defense started to take over for Menlo in the second quarter when junior Wes Miller came in and blocked two shots, sparking the crowd. The Menlo offense gave up 13 turnovers but held the Cougars close, 17-16 at the end of the first half.
The offense came alive in the third quarter as the Knights opened up with a 16-8 run. Roth stepped up and hit a clutch three-pointer to give Menlo its first lead of the game.
"I told them (the Knights) at halftime, it's not the first hit that knocks the tree down, but it's the thousand little hits that knock it down," said Menlo head coach Delandro Leday. "So we just kept hitting at it."
Menlo sophomore Liam Dunn hit a 15-footer to extend the lead to 39-34. Ryan Young made two pressure free-throws with 53 seconds to play, giving Menlo a 7-point advantage. Dunn, who had 11 points, added two more free throws with 18 seconds remaining. to put the finishing touches on the title.
The Pinewood boys captured their third straight CCS Division V championship with a 57-23 romp over top-seeded Alma Heights (26-4) on Friday night at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. The No. 2-seeded Panthers (14-11) now advance to the CIF NorCal playoffs that begin next week following the sixth section title in program history.
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