When the Eastside Prep and Pinewood girls' basketball teams wound up tied for the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) regular-season title last year, the teams managed that by winning at home.
Eastside Prep hopes that will be the case once again when the second-place Panthers (5-1, 14-6) play host to first-place Pinewood (6-0, 15-4) on Tuesday night in a showdown for first place at 6:30 p.m.
Pinewood grabbed the early lead this season with a 48-45 victory at home, just like Eastside Prep did last season.
Pinewood, the defending CIF Division V state champion and currently ranked No. 1 in the Central Coast Section, is averaging 63.1 points a game, while CCS No. 2-ranked Eastside Prep is scoring at a 52.8 clip. Pinewood senior Hailie Eackles is averaging 21.3 ppg while Eastside's scoring leader is senior Ahjalee Harvey is averaging 17.6. Both players are headed for Division I schools next season -- Eackles to Pacific and Harvey to San Diego State.
Eackles also is averaging 7.2 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game while Eastside sophomore Hashima Carothers is pulling down nine rebounds a game while Harvey is dishing out 3.4 assists a contest. Kelsey Morehead is averaging 4.5 assists for Pinewood.
The game will match Eastside Prep's speed and pressing defense against Pinewood's three-point shooting and pressing defense. Both teams have one loss to a common opponent this season -- Mitty.
Eastside Prep's Takara Burse and Pinewood's Miranda Seto, both seniors, also will play crucial roles for their teams.
This won't be the last time the teams face each other. They'll most likely meet again in the WBAL playoffs, the CCS tournament and, perhaps, in NorCals. Only one can advance to the state finals, held this season at ARCO Arena in Sacramento.
In girls' soccer action Monday:
Getting a pair of goals from sophomore Kendall Jager and senior Abby Dahlkemper, Sacred Heart Prep held on to its lead in the WBAL (Foothill Division) with a 5-0 victory over last-place Mercy-Burlingame at Skyline College on Monday. Jager gave the Gators (5-0-1, 9-4-2) the only goal they needed off an assist from from senior Geena Graumann, who added two more assists and the final goal.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn's non-winning streak was extended to six matches following a 3-2 loss to visiting Mountain View. The Titans (1-5-2, 6-6-4) last won on Jan. 12, having gone 0-4-2 since then.
After Mountain View took an early lead, Gunn got the equalizer when Anna von Clemm's corner kick found Haleli Moalem, who connected for the tying goal that held up for a 1-1 halftime deadlock. Gunn then dominated the first 10-15 minutes of the second half before the Spartans scored twice within two minutes. Gunn's Alyssa Perreault made up from an earlier miss in the 56th minute and found the net from long distance in the 70th minute before the Titans ran out of time.
In boys' soccer action Monday:
Priory maintained its hold on second place in the WBAL following a closer-than-expected 4-3 victory over host King's Academy in Sunnyvale. The Panthers improved to 6-1 (7-4-1 overall), trailing only first-place Sacred Heart Prep (7-0-1). Priory will visit SHP on Friday (3 p.m.) with a chance to take over the league league.
Guillermo Talancon scoring the winning goal for the Panthers in the second half after John Jernick had tied the match at 3 with a goal. Freshman Austin Mirabella opened the scoring for Priory with a powerful header off Evan Filipczyk's corner kick. That cut the Panthers' deficit in half after King's had grabbed a 2-0 lead only 10 minutes into the match by taking advantage of two Priory mistakes.
Talancon later scored during a scramble in front of the net to deadlock the match at 2 heading into halftime. King's scored early in the second half for a 3-2 lead before Jernick and Talancon rescued the Panthers.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, visiting Gunn (1-5-2, 2-9-4) was drubbed by first-place Mountain View (6-0-2, 11-1-3), 6-1.