Getting a big game of 21 points, nine rebounds, five steals and two blocks from junior center Cat Perez, the Gunn girls' basketball team tuned up for its showdown for first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division with a 60-31 drubbing of visiting Wilcox on Wednesday night.
The Titans (5-0, 13-2), who will visit Palo Alto (4-0, 11-4) on Friday (6:15 p.m.) in a battle for sole possession of first place, held only a 29-22 halftime lead against the Chargers before pulling away with a 31-9 advantage in the second half -- holding Wilcox to just one point in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Zoe Zwerling added 15 points with three rebounds and four steals while junior Julia Maggioncalda finished with 10 points, four rebounds and three steals. Gunn finished with 18 steals.
In a boys' PAL Bay Division basketball game, visiting Menlo-Atherton (1-2, 8-9) had more turnovers (16) than rebounds (12) in a 59-35 loss to Burlingame (3-0, 13-3) on Wednesday. Miles Weiss was the lone M-A player in double figures with 13 points. The Panthers had 35 rebounds and only 12 turnovers while remaining atop the division.
In a nonleague game, host Priory got 15 points from Doug Galdamez and 13 from Brandon Willhite in a 62-29 romp over Summit Prep on Wednesday. The Panthers trailed at halftime, 23-20, but outscored the visitors in the third period, 26-1, to grab control. Summit Prep scored only six points in the second half while Priory had 42.
Gunn won its first match since Dec. 4, finally ending a streak of 10 matches without a victory with a 1-0 triumph over visiting Santa Clara in a SCVAL De Anza Division match on Wednesday. The winning goal came four minutes into the second half when a Santa Clara player tried to clear the ball from his own box, and it ricocheted off the leg of Gunn's Sammy Hayward and into the Bruins' cage for the only goal of the game.
"We finally got a break," said Gunn coach Dave Lovercheck. "In the beginning of the season, we weren't getting any breaks and now we're getting some."
Gunn's fortunes began to change last week when a late goal by Mason Naar tied the game with Paly and Gunn's win over Santa Clara improved their league record to 1-2-2 (2-6-4 overall). The Titans, however, did have to sweat out the last couple of minutes of the game when Santa Clara almost scored off a corner kick when a loose ball was fired in by a Santa Clara player that Gunn keeper Paul Blanchette blocked. During the ensuing scramble, Blanchette had to make another huge save to preserve the victory.
In the West Bay Athletic League, freshman Isaac Polkinhorne scored a pair of goals, giving him 13 on the season, as the Sacred Heart Prep boys' soccer team rolled to a 7-1 victory over visiting Eastside Prep on Wednesday.
Sophomore Joseph Bolous gave the first-place Gators (5-0, 10-0) a quick 1-0 lead before Polkinhorne provided the eventual winning goal on an assist by Bolous. Polkinhorne then made it 3-0 on an assist by Christian Thaure. Robert Ojeda, defender Andrew Liotta, Joe Callinan and Dan Sallaberry also added goals for SHP, which has outscored the competition 47-6 this season.
In another WBAL match, visiting Menlo School (2-2-1, 2-4-2) played to a 0-0 deadlock with King's Academy in Sunnyvale.
Elsewhere, host Priory thumped visiting Crystal Springs, 10-1.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton dropped out of sole possession of first place following a 2-1 loss at Terra Nova on Wednesday in Pacifica. The Bears (3-1-1, 5-2-2) fell behind by 2-0 at halftime before junior Grant Shaffer scored to make a game of it. M-A knocked off Aragon and upset Burlingame to take the division lead last week.
While it goes down as a tie, Palo Alto's 1-1 deadlock with visiting Los Gatos in a SCVAL De Anza Division match had to feel like a victory on Wednesday. The Wildcats (3-0-1, 8-2-2) came into the match sitting atop the division and had swept the Vikings in their two matches last season. That streak looked to continue when Los Gatos scored in the 20th minute.
The Vikings (2-1-1, 5-5-1), however, continued to battle and finally got the equalizer in the 79th minute. Sophomore Perri Pond played a ball down the line to sophomore forward Jordan Smith, who got past a Los Gatos defender and then crossed the ball to near the six-yard box. Paly senior Gracie Cain chested the ball down to her feet and slotted into the right side of the net for the tying goal just before time expired. Paly senior keeper Alex Kershner had six saves while anchoring the Vikings' solid defensive effort.