Senior Emilee Osagiede poured in 25 points as the Palo Alto girls' basketball team opened its season with a 56-45 victory over San Mateo in the first round of the Pinewood Classic on Wednesday. The Vikings (1-0) will play Scotts Valley in Friday's semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Scotts Valley upset host Pinewood, 49-48.
"It was a good game to open the season, as we had some breakdowns which tested our composure," said Paly coach Scott Peters. "But, in the end, we fought through it and pulled out the game with good defense and rebounding."
Palo Alto, which captured its first Central Coast Section Division I title last season, lost its game-long lead in the fourth quarter when the Bearcats inched ahead, 43-41. Sophomore Danielle Palmer made a three-pointer to put Paly on top at 44-43.
San Mateo regained the lead at 45-44 but Paly's Charlotte Alipate made it 46-45 and Osagiede followed that by scoring 10 straight points. Osagiede grabbed 11 rebounds, seven of them offensive, while fellow senior Lindsay Black contributed 11 points. Josie Butler, a 6-foot-2 junior, sparked a fourth-quarter Paly defense that held San Mateo to just six points with a pair of blocks.
In the late game, host Pinewood gave up a foul shot with 4.7 seconds to play and dropped a 49-48 decision to Scotts Valley. The defending CIF Division V champion Panthers (1-1) shot poorly from three-point range and showed its youth at times -- Pinewood has only two seniors and one junior on its 10-player roster. Senior Kelly Doran led the Panthers with a team-high 14 points.
Jenny Hansen put Pinewood on top at 48-47 with under three minutes to play.
In San Francisco, senior Riya Modi scored a career-high 26 points but it wasn't enough as Castilleja dropped a 57-53 nonleague game to host University High on Wednesday night. Down by 13 with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter, the Gators (3-2) went on an 11-2 run to get to within four with just over a minute remaining. Castilleja did not get any closer as the Devils converted their free throws down the stretch. Modi added five assists while junior Lauren Rantz grabbed five rebounds. Freshman Paige Vermeer came off the bench for a career-high six steals.
With senior Richard Harris scoring 22 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, the Menlo School boys' basketball team opened its season with a 56-41 victory over Leland in the Wildcat Shootout in Los Gatos on Wednesday. Senior Freddy Avis made a pair of three-pointers and finished with eight points while Will Miller contributed seven points. Menlo will face Leigh in the next round on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
In Burlingame, Matt McNamara scored 16 points as Sacred Heart Prep opened play in the Burlingame Lions Club Tournament with a 54-46 victory over Lincoln on Wednesday. The Gators (2-0) overcame a six-point halftime deficit by outscoring the visitors 30-16 in the second half. The Gators will play Washington (San Francisco) on Thursday in the semifinals at 8 p.m.
In Los Altos Hills, Pinewood had the brakes put on its offense while dropping a 73-66 nonleague game to visiting St. Ignatius on Wednesday. After averaging 81 points a game while winning the Redwood Classic last weekend, the Panthers saw their offense slowed down considerably in the back-and-forth contest.
The teams traded leads with SI holding a two-point advantage after one period and Pinewood leading by two at halftime. The Wildcats made a move in the third period to grab a five-point lead and never trailed again as they hit all eight of their free throws in the fourth quarter. Pinewood (4-1) was led by senior Solomone Wolfgramm's 20 points and 15 rebounds. Teammates Cameron Helvey and Kevin Sweat combined for another 25 points.
Sacred Heart Prep gave up its first goal of the season on a direct kick in the second half and it cost the Gators a third straight victory as SHP and host Woodside battled to a 1-1 nonleague deadlock on Wednesday night. Sacred Heart (2-0-1) had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first half on a goal by Andrew Liotta off an assist from Willy Lamb. Goalie Max Polkinhorne came up with some big saves for the Gators, who have outscored the opposition by 10-1 this season.
In Millbrae, Menlo School overcame a slow start and pulled away for a 2-1 nonleague victory over host Mills on Wednesday. The Knights (3-0-1) trailed at halftime by 1-0, but tied things up in the 58th minute when sophomore John Strong sent a crossing ball to freshman Kyle Perez, who finished. With the match winding down, Menlo's Beau Baldwin sent a 35-yard shot that caught the Mills' keeper off guard for the game-winner.
Menlo also was led by the strong play of central defenders Alec Drobac and Jack Redman. The Knights will host Harbor on Friday at 2:45 p.m.