The opportunity is at hand for the Pinewood boys' basketball team to avenge a pair of losses to Sacred Heart Prep last season while taking early control of the West Bay Athletic League race.
For Sacred Heart Prep, it will be a chance for the Gators to continue their mastery over the Panthers while grabbing the upper hand in the WBAL this season.
Those opportunities will be on the line Tuesday night when Sacred Heart Prep (2-0, 10-2) hosts Pinewood (3-0, 11-2) in an early league showdown at 7:30 p.m. Both teams set up the key game with solid wins on Friday night.
With senior Reed McConnell tossing in a game-high 22 points, the Sacred Heart Prep maintained a share of first place with a 63-46 victory over visiting King's Academy. on Friday night. Will McConnell added 14 points for SHP while Tomas O'Donnell finished with a season-high 13 for the Gators, who grabbed a 39-22 halftime lead.
In Los Altos Hills, juniors Cameron Helvey and Solomone Wolfgramm led Pinewood to its third WBAL victory in four days as both tossed in 23 points in a 78-59 victory over visiting Crystal Springs. Helvey added 12 rebounds and four assists for the Panthers (3-0, 11-2) while Wolfgramm had 11 rebounds and five assists. Helvey's cousin, senior Kyle Riches, chipped in nine second-half points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Pinewood led Crystal Springs by only 42-39 in the first half, but held Crystal Springs to 20 percent shooting and 20 points while turning the ball over just one time in the second half while remaining atop the WBAL with Sacred Heart Prep.
In Portola Valley, 6-foot-8 Gabor Somogyi led the way as host Priory pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 45-27 victory over visiting Eastside Prep in WBAL action Friday. Somogyi scored 14 points with 15 rebounds, two blocks, two assists and four steals as the Panthers improved to 1-1 (7-3). Brandon Willhite added 15 points for Priory, which took a 24-18 lead into the fourth period. Leslie Gray tallied 12 points for Eastside Prep (0-3, 5-8).
Also in Atherton, Menlo School dropped out of an early tie for first place in the WBAL following a 51-47 loss to visiting Harker on Friday night. The Knights (1-1, 5-6) now trail Pinewood and Sacred Heart Prep. Mac Osborne did his best to keep Menlo on top with 17 points and five rebounds, while teammate Richard Harris added seven points and 11 rebounds with Will Miller adding six rebounds.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Jack Hannan tossed in 20 points and Matt Redfield added 15 as Gunn remained tied for first place in the division following a 56-50 victory over host Lynbrook on Friday night. The Titans (2-0, 10-4) had to rally from a 17-14 first-quarter deficit to pull out the triumph.
After Lynbrook hit a three-pointer to cut into Gunn's lead at 54-50 with 31 seconds left, the Titans wrapped things up as Anthony Cannon made one of two free throws with 27 seconds left and then Redfield tipped the ball away at midcourt and dunked home the final points with 10 seconds remaining.
"It was an interesting game," said Gunn coach Chris Redfield, "but we'll take the win because any road win is a good win in De Anza."
In Cupertino, Max Schmarzo drained five 3-pointers and tallied 19 points as Palo Alto remained tied atop the SCVAL De Anza Division race with a 61-54 win over host Homestead on Friday night. Israel Hakim added 14 points as the Vikings improved to 2-0 (8-5).
It wasn't one of its better offensive productions of the season, but Gunn nonetheless pulled out a 40-35 victory over host Lynbrook on Friday night to remain tied atop the SCVAL De Anza Division race. Sophomore guard Claire Klausner had 13 points with four rebounds and two steals for the Titans (2-0 (10-2), who got 10 points and 14 rebounds from junior Cat Perez. Julia Maggioncalda added nine points and seven boards for Gunn.
Maggioncalda scored all nine of her points in the second half. Gunn opened the fourth period leading 25-24 by going on 10-3 run to gain control of the game as Lynbrook was never able to get closer than five points the remainder of the game.
In Mountain View, Palo Alto remained tied for first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division with a solid 58-48 triumph over host Mountain View. The Vikings (2-0, 10-3) used their height to pull away in the second half after the teams had battled to a 24-24 deadlock at halftime.
Sophomore transfer Josie Butler, Paly's tallest player at 6-foot-2, finished with eight rebounds and six blocks while 6-foot junior Emilee Osagiede had seven boards after intermission to spark the Vikings. Sydney Davis led the way with 15 points for the winners.
In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep's perfect season came to an end with a 45-33 nonleague loss to visiting Notre Dame-San Jose on Friday night. The Gators (7-1) fell behind by 10 in the opening quarter and made things even more difficult for themselves by missing 11 free throws. Melissa Holland led SHP with 10 points.
In another nonleague game, Tennyson Jellins and Sela Tupou each scored 14 points as host Menlo-Atherton (4-10) held off visiting Carlmont on Friday.
On Saturday, Sacred Heart Prep rebounded from its first loss only a night earlier with a 50-49 nonleague victory over visiting Acalanes. The Gators (8-1) had to rally from a 13-7 first-quarter deficit, doing so with a 21-point second quarter. Melissa Holland tallied 13 points to pace SHP while Catherine Donahoe finished with 12.
Sacred Heart Prep received only its first challenge of the season while registering a 2-1 victory over visiting Harker in a West Bay Athletic League match on Friday. The Gators (2-0, 7-0) grabbed a 2-0 first-half lead on a pair of goals by Joseph Bolous, but were held scoreless in the second half while Harker tallied in the 20th minute to make things close. SHP has allowed only four goals this season while scoring 34.
In another WBAL match, Menlo School edged visiting Eastside Prep, 2-1.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton (1-0-1, 3-1-2) battled visiting Sequoia to a 1-1 draw.
Gunn lost a chance to remain in first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division following a tough 1-0 loss to host Mountain View on Friday. The teams battled through a scoreless first half until the Spartans (1-0-1 league) broke the drought with a shot in the opening few minutes of the second half. The Titans just didn't get enough shots on goal and fell to 0-1-1 in league (5-2-2 overall).
On Saturday, host Menlo School (1-2-4) and Woodside (5-2-1) battled to a scoreless draw in nonleague action. The game was full of scoring opportunities for both sides. Menlo sophomore keepers Kelly McConnell and Julia Dressel combined on the shutout. Dressel had five first- half saves and McConnell had 10 second in the second half. Menlo was led by junior defender Shannon Lacy and sophomore midfielders Maya Norman and Dana Gornick.
With junior Kalen Gans leading the way with an individual victory and Nick Ortiz taking second at 125 pounds, Palo Alto finished 12th out of 38 teams at the Apple Cider Classic at Watsonville High on Saturday.
Gans won the 160-pound title. He has reached the finals in four of the five tournaments the Vikings have competed in this season and won three times. Gans is currently ranked No. 2 in the Central Coast Section and is Honorable Mention in the state rankings.
After a first-round bye, Gans won by technical fall (21-3) over Eric Wetzel of Evergreen Valley. In the quarterfinals, Gans pinned Deniz Kapkin of Aptos in 2:35, and in the semifinals he posted a 15-2 major decision over Maurice Alexander of Leland. In the championship, Gans pinned Michael Heraz of Soledad in just 1:15.
Ortiz dropped a 3-2 decision to Andre Delagnes of Menlo-Atherton in the finals. Ortiz and Delagnes are 1-1 in head-to-head matches this season. Delagnes avenged an earlier loss to Ortiz in the semifinals of the Peninnsula Invitational in early December.
At the annual Bianchini Memorial Invitational at Cupertino High, Gunn had finished 14th while placing three wrestlers. Sophomore Eric Cramer was third at 119 pounds, freshman Cadence Lee was fifth at 103 and sophomore Danny Papp was seventh at 112.