Menlo School nearly pulled off one of the biggest wins of the season before falling to unbeaten Mercy-San Francisco, 74-70, in overtime in a West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) girls' basketball game on Tuesday night.
The Knights (2-3, 11-7) fought back to tie the game at the end of the fourth quarter on a baseline shot by Lauren Lete. Menlo, however, could not hold a four-point lead in overtime as the Skippers prevailed and moved to 5-0 in league (19-0 overall).
Menlo, which suffered its third straight WBAL loss, was led by junior post Drew Edelman with 23 points and 11 rebounds. It was the play of Donya Dehnad, however, that brought Menlo back from a double-digit deficit as she scored eight points in the fourth quarter and finished with 17 points and eight rebounds for the game.
The Knights also had key contributions from Maddy Price, who made her first start of the season with 13 points. Lete finished with five assists and eight points.
In Atherton, visiting Eastside Prep got 15 points from Charmaine Bradford and an important cameo role from Hashima Carothers in a 47-31 victory over Sacred Heart Prep.
Carothers injured her knee against Menlo last Friday, which necessitated her being carried off the floor. The injury turned out to be just a strain, which allowed Carothers to play a limited role on Tuesday. She tallied six points while helping out in a 2-3 zone that limited the Gators' three-point shooting.
Anish Smith added 10 points for the Panthers (4-1, 11-9) who took over sole possession of second place while knocking SHP (3-2 (13-6) into third. Meghan Holland made four 3-points and finished with a team-high 14 points for the Gators.
In San Jose, Pinewood (1-4, 11-8) finally got its first victory, a 52-34 decision over host Notre Dame-San Jose. Kelly Doran tallied 17 points and Leanna Bade added 12 for the Panthers.
In the WBAL Skyline Division, Castilleja took sole possession of first place with a 37-34 win over visiting King's Academy.
The Knights, who led briefly in the final period, had two cracks at tying the contest in the final seconds, but neither three-point attempt was successful. After banking in a trey with two minutes left to cut the Gators' lead to three, the Knights failed to score again as Castilleja hung on for the victory.
The Gators (4-1, 9-9) were led by junior Lauren Rantz, who scored 12 points to go along with 13 rebounds and five blocks. Freshman Madelyn Tarr led the team with a career-high three assists in addition to a career-high 11 boards. Freshman Yasmeen Afifi chipped in 10 points while swatting a career-high tying three blocks.
Castilleja was without the services of point guard and leading scorer Riya Modi, who was scratched due to an injured knee. With the lone senior sidelined, Castilleja played only the second game in school history without a senior.
The Gators improved to 51-1 all-time at home when holding opponents under 35 points.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto maintained its hold on second place following a dominating 70-38 victory over host Milpitas. Seniors Lindsay Black and Emilee Osagiede plus junior Stephanie Allen all tallied 10 points for the Vikings (5-1, 12-3), who grabbed control with a 25-9 first quarter.
Paly's trapping halfcourt defense sparked the offense as 12 players scored for the Vikings. Osagiede and Josie Butler (seven points) tallied their points in the first three quarters before sitting out the fourth. Black and Allen were very active on the defensive end, using their speed to start the transition offense that led to easy baskets.
"I thought we did a good job of keeping our focus and working hard on the defensive end throughout the game," said Paly coach Scott Peters. "Milpitas scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, 12 of which came on three-point shots, which although I'm not entirely happy about, shows we were protecting the paint and forcing them to take outside shots rather than drive to the basket."
In Mountain View, Gunn took over third place with a sloppy 45-44 victory over the host Spartans. The Titans (4-2, 10-5) committed 31 turnovers in 32 minutes but out-rebounded Mountain View, 30-12, to help prevent an upset loss.
The Spartans (2-4, 9-9) held a 40-39 lead with under three minutes to play thanks to a fullcourt press that resulted in an 8-0 run. Gunn rallied behind Cat Perez, who scored the deciding layin and finished with a game-high 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Zoe Zwerling added nine points, three rebounds and three steals for Gunn while freshman Meghan Mahoney contributed seven points and five rebounds.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton fell into a tie for third place following a 52-25 loss to host San Mateo. Senior Tennyson Jellins scored 13 points to lead the Bears (2-3, 8-10), who scored only two points in the second quarter and trailed 27-12 at halftime.