One thing is clear following the final round of the Burlingame Lions Club Tournament, that the Sacred Heart Prep boys' basketball team is not unbeatable despite having plenty of height, talent and experience.
Burlingame proved that with a 64-57 victory over the Gators on Friday in the championship game. The Panthers held SHP without a field goal and only six points in the second quarter to grab a 26-20 halftime lead that the Gators were unable to overcome in the second half.
Sacred Heart Prep had plenty of size in the three McConnell brothers -- 6-foot-5 Reed, 6-5 Will and 6-4 Cole. The Gators also have three other players 6-4 or taller. That height advantage, however, made no difference as Burlingame's tight defense limited the Gators inside and on the perimeter. SHP made only four 3-pointers.
Reed McConnell led Sacred Heart Prep with 20 points and Will McConnell added 10, but none of the other Gators reached double figures.
In the consolation finals, E.J. Floreal poured in 22 points to lead Palo Alto to a 56-55 overtime win over Jefferson. Max Schmarzo added 14 points for the Vikings (3-1).
In nonleague action, Priory fell from the unbeaten ranks after running up against a more physical Westmoor team and dropping a 44-32 nonleeague decision at home Friday night. Brandon Willhite and Gabor Somogyi combined for all but seven of Priory's points as the Panthers fell to 2-1.
Pinewood scored 37 points in the first quarter on the way to routing Evergreen Valley, 76-31, in the semifinals of the Pinewood Classic on Friday night.
Senior Hailie Eackles tallied 19 points, 13 coming in the first quarter. She also had 10 rebounds as the Panthers capitalized on strong rebounding after missing numerous three-points in the first half, during which they tallied 51 points. Senior guard Miranda Seto added 14 points and senior Jenna McLoughlin contributed 11. Pinewood takes on Presentation in the championship game on Saturday.
In the other semifinal, it was close for one quarter before Gunn was outscored by 28 points in the second half while dropping a 77-39 decision to Presentation on Friday in Los Altos Hills. The Titans (5-1) trailed by 14-13 after the first quarter before Presentation pulled away in a hurry. It was 31-21 at halftime and 53-27 after three quarters following a 17-point third period by Presentation's Chelsea Punian. Freshman Zoe Zwerling led Gunn with 12 points. The Titans played Evergreen Valley for third place on Saturday afternoon.
Palo Alto earned the right to play for fifth place after defeating San Mateo, 54-45, in a second-round consolation-bracket game at the Pinewood Classic on Friday. The Vikings (2-1) played Mills in the final round on Saturday. Palo Alto got 17 points from Shamelia Clay and 10 each from Sydney Davis and Katerina Peterson in downing San Mateo.
At the Terra Nova Tiger Classic in Pacifica, Castilleja arrived late and got off to a slow start, never recovering while dropping a 47-43 decision to Mountain View in the consolation semifinals on Friday.
The Spartans (6-1) led by 8-0 to start the game and by 13 later on, but the Gators (4-2) got within 11 with three minutes left when sophomore Lauren Rantz exited the game with a sprained ankle. The Gators wouldn't get the score to single digits until two minutes were left when Abby Thornburg hit a layup and the lone Castilleja free throw in the second.
Trailing by seven, Olivia Nicholls hit a pair of three-pointers that sandwiched a pair of Mountain View free throws pulling the Gators to within four. That, however, was as close as Castilleja got as Mountain View hit its free throws down the stretch as Castilleja was forced to foul trailing late. The Gators lost two starters to fouls and made only 1-of-10 free throws in the second half.
Castilleja was led by Natasha von Kaeppler and Nicholls with 12 points each – a career high for Nicholls – while von Kaeppler led three Castilleja rebounders in double figures with 14. She becomes the second player in school history to pull down 1,000 career rebounds and the first member of the 1,000 point-rebound club.
Also at the Terra Nova tourney, Menlo-Atherton earned a berth in the consolation finals with a 45-31 victory over Westmoor on Friday. Tennyson Jellins scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds in addition to blocking four shots for the Bears (2-4).
Menlo-Atherton had a 22-9 rebound advantage at halftime with 5-9 Sarah Mitchell adding eight rebounds and 5-11 Sarah Watson grabbing five. Point guard Melodie Turner added eight points for M-A.