To really no one's surprise, the Pinewood and Eastside Prep girls' basketball teams will meet in the championship game of the West Bay Athletic League playoffs on Saturday at Menlo School. Tip off is 3 p.m.
Pinewood (20-5) and Eastside Prep (19-6), both named the Panthers, shared the WBAL Foothill Division title for the second straight season. Saturday's winner will earn the league's No. 1 seed for next week's Central Coast Section playoffs, where Pinewood and Eastside Prep should be the top two seeds.
Pinewood advanced with an 81-31 rout of Menlo (16-10) while Eastside Prep advanced out of Friday's other semifinal with a 66-31 win over Mercy-San Francisco (18-8).
Senior forward Hailie Eackles, who scored 91 points in three wins last week and who has been averaging nearly 29 points over the past six games, continued her torrid scoring by leading everyone with 26 points. Fellow seniors Miranda Seto and Caitlin Ciardella added 16 and 13 points, respectively. Menlo's Drew Edelman had 12 points and nine rebounds. Pinewood got off to a 26-8 first-quarter lead and had the Knights on the ropes all night, outscoring Menlo 12-0 in the final period.
Pinewood made 13 of 19 three-pointers in the first half and finished with a season-hgh 18 (on 34 attempts).
In the other semifinal, Eastside Prep exploded for 29 points in the third quarter to pull away from a five-point halftime lead while eliminating Mercy-SF. Ahjalee Harvey made four 3-pointers while scoring 22 points for the Panthers while Hashima Carothers added 14 points and nine rebounds. Takara Burse contributed 12 points for Eastside.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto wrapped up its finest season ever in the league by finishing 12-0 following a 48-34 triumph over Lynbrook. The game originally was scheduled for Lynbrook, but the Vikings' gym had too many leaks and the contest was switched to Paly (19-4 overall).
Junior Emilee Osagiede (12 points) and senior Katerina Peterson (nine) led Palo Alto on the defensive end as well as the offensive end while senior Sydney Davis ran the offense with few turnovers.
Lindsay Black helped spark the defensive pressure in addition to scoring nine points while freshman post Danielle Palmer hit three big baskets, two coming off offensive rebounds. Paly's 6-2 center Josie Butler intimidated Lynbrook (6-6, 14-10) with three blocks in addition to changing numerous other shots. Lynbrook was held without a single three-pointer made.
Also in the De Anza Division, Gunn wrapped up second place with a 49-30 win over host Los Gatos. Junior Cat Perez led the Titans (9-3, 17-5) with 20 points and nine rebounds while sophomore guard Claire Klausner added 11 points, three rebounds and two steals. Junior Julia Maggioncalda contributed six points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists.
With senior Reed McConnell knocking down four 3-pointers and finishing with 20 points, Sacred Heart Prep completed a perfect season in the West Bay Athletic League with a 76-57 victory over visiting Harker on Friday night.
The Gators improved to 14-0 in league (22-2 overall) and likely will be the No. 1 seed for Division IV when the Central Coast Section seeding meeting is held this weekend. Sacred Heart Prep is the defending section champ in Division IV and has played like it during the WBAL season, rolling to comfortable victories each week.
On Senior Night, the Gators pulled away with yet another strong third quarter (27-11) while limiting Harker to just a trio of three-pointers. Earlier in the week, Harker upset second-place Pinewood. The perfect mark in league play is the first for the Gators since the 2005-06 season, when they played in the Private Schools Athletic League. Sacred Heart Prep lost only one league game last season, to Harker.
SHP coach Tony Martinelli was pleased with the outcome, with the exception of his team putting Harker on the free-throw line for 36 attempts (with 26 made).
"Harker got in the paint and to the foul line way too many times," Martinelli said. "We are going to be better next time we take the floor."
In Portola Valley, Menlo School (8-6, 12-12) closed out the regular season with a 64-49 triumph over host Priory on Friday night. Richard Harris led the Knights with 20 points, 11 rebounds and two assists while Kent Lacob added nine points and eight assists. Mac Osborne finished with nine points and six rebounds for Menlo while Brandon Willhite led Priory with a season-high 36 points.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto wrapped up its regular season by escaping with a 64-58 victory over Lynbrook. Max Schmarzo hit a three-pointer to put Paly up by six with three minutes remaining to provide a little breathing room.
Sophomore E.J. Floreal led Paly (11-1, 18-6) with 19 points and 14 rebounds while Israel Hakim added 13 points and six boards. Schmarzo finished with 12 points, all coming on three-pointers.
In Los Gatos, visiting Gunn held Los Gatos to 14 second-half points and posted a 44-27 victory. Matt Redfield led the Titans (7-5, 15-9) with 19 points while fellow senior Anthony Cannon added 10.
Sacred Heart Prep put the finishing touches on a 12-1-1 record in the West Bay Athletic League with a 10-0 romp over visiting Crystal Springs on Friday. The Gators (17-1-1 overall) got four goals from Robert Ojeda and two each from Kyle Scherba and Alec Mishra on a cold and rainy afternoon. Sacred Heart has outscored the opposition this season, 90-11.