Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - January 15, 2010

WBAL boys' basketball race proving to be unpredictable

Sacred Heart Prep falls out of first place and into a logjam

Levente Juhos missed nearly all of the preseason with an injury, but the 6-foot-9 senior transfer student from Hungary has made up for lost time.

On Tuesday, he had a coming out party with 17 points, 16 rebounds, two steals and a block to lead Priory to a 56-51 victory over visiting King's Academy in a West Bay Athletic League game.

With Keaton Carano out, Alex Peyser and 6-7 freshman Gabor Somogyi picked up the scoring load with 10 points each, while Ray Ross and Ricky Dolezalek provided great defensive pressure for the Panthers (1-2, 6-6), who had to withstand nine three-pointers by the visitors.

In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep dropped out of a tie for first place in the WBAL following a tough 55-50 loss to visiting Harker.

Harker (3-0, 11-2) took over sole possession of the league lead while knocking the Gators (2-1, 8-5) into a tie for second. Sacred Heart trailed by nine heading into the fourth quarter. Junior Reed McConnell led SHP with 17 points. The Gators will host neighborhood rival Menlo on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

In East Palo Alto, Pinewood (2-1, 9-3) moved into a tie for second place with a 68-42 thumping of host Eastside Prep on Tuesday night. Pinewood held its host to just 25.3 percent shooting (18 of 71) while winning the rebounding battle, 48-19.

Senior Max Lippe led Pinewood with 12 points, 13 rebounds and five assists while sophomore Dante Fraioli added 13 points, six rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Cameron Helvey also stepped up with a season-high 10 assists in addition to tallying eight points.

Pinewood pulled away from a first-quarter tie (11-11) with 40 points over the next two quarters. Eastside Prep (0-3, 2-10), which lost five seniors off last season's CCS Division V title-winning team, was led by junior Leslie Gray's 13 points while sophomore Kyle Carter contributed 12. Carter recently was promoted from team manager and has found a spot on the team with his long-range shooting. All his points Tuesday came on three-pointers.

In Hillsborough, Menlo (2-1, 4-8) moved in a logjam at second place in the WBAL with a 58-40 victory over host Crystal Springs-Uplands. Harrison Nida led the Knights with 19 points while Mac Osborne contributed 14 and Richard Harris had 10. Menlo pulled away from a 9-7 first-quarter lead by outscoring Crystal Springs by nine points in the second quarter.

In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton team opened its season with a 63-45 loss to host Mills on Wednesday evening, opening the door for perhaps more questions than answers. If nothing else, the Bears (0-1, 8-7) proved that they need to be more consistent after losing their third game in the past four outings.

Darryl (25 points) and Kyle Wong (16 points) of Mills nearly outscored the Bears by themselves. Menlo-Atherton, however, trailed by only 27-23 heading into the third quarter before Mills hit three consecutive treys. Mills finished off an 11-0 run with 5:20 left in the period and M-A suddenly trailed, 38-23. Mills made seven of 10 shots in the quarter.

The Bears shot a respectable 45 percent from the field (14 for 31) but made 10 fewer field goals while the Vikings helped their cause by making eight of 17 three-pointers. Reed Foster scored 11 points to lead Menlo-Atherton, which got nine points each from Jeff Keller and Michael Culhane.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn's lack of offensive firepower showed up in a 49-39 loss to visiting Los Gatos (2-0, 13-1) on Wednesday night. The Titans (1-2, 8-7) managed just 16 points in the first half while no Gunn player scored more than seven points. The Titans will visit rival Palo Alto on Friday night to finish off a quad at 7:45 p.m.

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