Getting 19 points from sophomore EJ Floreal, the Palo Alto boys' basketball team finished off a three-win week by handing visiting Menlo School a 57-38 nonleague loss on Saturday night. The Vikings opened the week with wins over Los Gatos and Homestead.
Floreal scored 70 points in the three wins this week. The Vikings (13-6) scheduled the Knights (8-10) after a nonleague game with Willow Glen was cancelled on Dec. 18.
Paly trailed by one after the first quarter but outscored the Knights 35-18 over the next two quarters to win comfortably. Max Schmarzo added 13 points for the Vikings while Richard Harris had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Menlo. Kent Lacob finished with 10 points and Will Miller added 11 boards for the Knights, who visit Harker on Tuesday while Paly visits Los Altos.
In girls' basketball on Saturday:
Despite grabbing a first-quarter lead and holding a five-point advantage in the second quarter, Castilleja couldn't hold on and dropped a 42-33 nonleague basketball decision to host St. Francis.
The Gators (11-9) took a two-point lead into halftime but were outscored in the third quarter, 13-2, as they made just one of 13 shots from the field in that decisive period.
The teams played evenly in the fourth as the Lancers were able to halt any potential Castilleja surge in the final frame. von Kaeppler finished with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. She also added four steals and two blocks. Junior Riya Modi and sophomore Lauren Rantz also equaled von Kaeppler in steals and blocks, respectively. Senior Laura Rose added eight rebounds in the defeat.
The teams combined for 51 turnovers on 136 possessions while von Kaeppler became the first Castilleja player with 1,200 career rebounds. Castilleja senior Abby Thornburg scored her 150th career points and grabbed her 250th career rebound.
In Woodside, Megan Holland and Catherine Donahoe each tallied 10 points as visiting Sacred Heart Prep rolled to a 55-29 nonleague victory over Woodside on Saturday afternoon. The margin of victory would have been greater had not the Gators (10-6) missed 24 free throws. Sacred Heart's pressing defense and rebounds more than made up for that, however, as the Wildcats were held to single-digit scoring in each quarter.