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Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - February 8, 2013

Palo Alto boys wrap up De Anza Division hoop title; Eastside Prep girls clinch title tie

by Keith Peters

The high school basketball regular season is coming to a close and only one league title has been wrapped up. That means there's still a lot to be decided in the next few days.

The Palo Alto boys don't have to worry about that after they clinched the SCVAL De Anza Division title with an easy 60-19 romp over last-place Cupertino on Tuesday night.

The Vikings won their 18th straight game while improving to 10-0 in league (20-1 overall) with two games remaining in the regular season.

Paly will celebrate Senior Night on Friday against visiting Los Gatos at 7:45 p.m.

Senior Aubrey Dawkins will be among those honored after leading Paly with 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals against Cupertino. The Vikings, who shot 53 percent from the field, grabbed a 33-9 halftime lead and coasted from there with 10 players scoring.

The Eastside Prep girls, meanwhile, all but locked up their first-ever West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) title as senior Hashima Carothers scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 47-34 win over visiting Pinewood on Tuesday.

The host Panthers (8-1, 17-5) ) won their ninth straight and clinched at least a tie for division crown by beating co-leading Pinewood (7-2, 18-5).

Eastside Prep can make it official on Friday (6;30 p.m.) by beating visiting Castilleja while Pinewood visits Menlo School. The WBAL playoffs will begin next week.

Eastside Prep ended Pinewood's five-game win streak thanks to a strong defensive effort. Pinewood scored just three points in the final quarter and made just five three-pointers.

Destiny Graham, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, contributed to Eastside's victory with five points and eight rebounds while teammate Charmaine Bradford scored 14. Eastside went on a 13-5 run to start the third period and put the game out of reach.

Menlo School, meanwhile, can earn a share of second place by beating Pinewood on Friday. The third-place Knights (6-3, 16-7) got 25 points and 14 rebounds from Drew Edelman in a 53-48 win over visiting Mercy-San Francisco on Tuesday.

In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep tuned up for the WBAL playoffs by surviving a 52-49 overtime win over Castilleja in a game that featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes. Helen Gannon and Melissa Holland each tallied 14 points for SHP (4-5, 16-7) while Paige Vermeer led Castilleja (0-9, 4-19) with 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and six steals. Yasmeen Afifi added 10 points and 13 rebounds while Lauren Rantz, back from a broken hand, became the fifth player in Castilleja history to collect at least 700 rebounds.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn moved into a virtual tie for second place with Wilcox following a 60-38 romp over host Saratoga on Wednesday night. Olivia Tapia poured in 22 points and Zoe Zwerling added 14 as the Titans won their third straight and improved to 7-2 (13-5) heading into a big showdown with first-place Lynbrook (10-1) on Friday at Gunn (6:15 p.m.). The Titans also will host rival Palo Alto on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Vikings (4-5, 8-12), meanwhile, suffered their fourth straight setback in a 56-41 drubbing by host Wilcox (7-2, 19-2).

In the PAL South Division, Menlo-Atherton saw its title hopes slip away in a 46-40 loss to previously winless Carlmont in Belmont. Emma Heath had 13 points for the Bears (7-3, 11-11) while first-place Woodside improved to 10-0 with a 43-42 win over Sequoia.

Boys' basketball

Menlo School (10-1, 14-7) held on to first place in the WBAL with a 61-51 win over host King's Academy. The Knights will close their regular season with three straight home games against Pinewood, Eastside Prep and Crystal Springs —likely needing two wins to clinch no worse than a tie for the league title.

Menlo won its 10th straight game with its second win in as many days. The Knights beat Priory in a makeup game Monday.

Menlo overcame a late charge by TKA, which tied the game at 48 with about four minutes remaining. Over the last few minutes, the Knights' defense clamped down to end the game on a 13-3 run.

Bobby Roth (17 points) and Liam Dunn (11 points) were instrumental in the run as they came up with big baskets and free throws to seal the game.

"We held fast and made plays down the stretch," said Menlo coach Delandro Leday. "Now we get to seal the deal at home. We know it will not be easy but we also know we play well at home."

In Atherton, host Sacred Heart Prep (9-2, 13-8) remained in second place in the WBAL with a 57-19 win over Eastside Prep (2-9 (13-10). The Gators grabbed a 30-4 halftime lead and cruised to victory. Corbin Koch led SHP with 13 points while Ricky Galliani and Ian Bennett combined for 21.

In Los Altos Hills, Pinewood (5-6, 10-9) rolled to a 57-37 victory over visiting Crystal Springs.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn dropped its fourth straight in a 71-36 loss to host Santa Clara. Patrick Skelly led the Titans (1-8, 4-14) with 15 points.

In the PAL South Division, host Menlo-Atherton won its second straight with a 37-36 victory over Carlmont. The Bears moved to 5-5 in league (9-13 overall) with three games remaining.

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