The night started with three local teams playing for championship berths in the CIF NorCal basketball playoffs. The evening ended, however, with only one team achieving that goal.
That was the Pinewood girls, who got 32 points and 10 rebounds from senior Hailie Eackles in a 66-37 victory over No. 5 Bradshaw Christian (24-10) in a Division V semifinal in Los Altos Hills.
The Panthers (26-5) advance to the NorCal finals at Folsom High next Saturday at 1 p.m., with a victory moving Pinewood on to the state finals on March 25 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento at 3:30 p.m. Pinewood is the No. 1-ranked Division V team in the state, according to MaxPreps.
Fellow senior Kelsey Morehead added 14 points while senior Miranda Seto had nine points, six rebounds and seven assists as Pinewood was able to overcome Bradshaw Christian's taller frontcourt that featured a handful of 6-footers. Pinewood freshman Leeana Bade grabbed seven rebounds.
In two NorCal playoff games, Eackles has 63 points and 25 rebounds while making 23 of 38 shots from the field.
In another Division V semifinal, No. 2-seeded Eastside Prep saw its championship hopes, and season, end in a 45-38 loss to No. 3-seeded St. Joseph-Notre Dame of Alameda in East Palo Alto.
The host Panthers (22-9) came in ranked No. 2 in the state in Division V, according to MaxPreps while St. Joseph (25-4) was No. 3 in the state. St. Joseph now advances to play No. 1 Pinewood in the NorCal finals next Saturday at Folsom High.
Eastside Prep got out to an early 7-0 lead before the visitors from Alameda took control in the second quarter as the Panthers went scoreless for almost seven minutes. Eastside, however, remained close thanks to its tough defense that forced 20 turnovers. The Panthers, however, shot less than 21 percent from the field and made only one field goal in the second quarter when they were outscored 14-5. Eastside, however, went into the fourth quarter tied at 29.
Ahjalee Harvey led Eastside with 21 points in her final prep game while fellow senior Takara Burse added 12 and sophomore Hashima Carothers contributed three points and 13 rebounds while freshman Kimberly Leu added a basket.
The Panthers missed seniors Ausjerae Holland and Leanne Martin, both sitting out their final game with injuries. Martin had ACL surgery recently while Holland suffered a knee injury in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
In boys' NorCal action:
Second-seeded Pinewood scored enough points to win most games, but not Saturday's semifinal with No. 3-seeded University (San Francisco), which registered an 81-75 victory in the Division V playoffs in Los Altos Hills.
University (28-6) now advances to the NorCal semifinals next Saturday at Folsom High while Pinewood finishes the season 23-6, despite getting 20 points each from Cameron Helvey and Dante Fraioli and 18 points from fellow junior Solomone Wolfgramm.