While most teams are off for the holidays, a handful of boys and girls basketball squads will be busy this weekend before more teams join the holiday hoop fray next week.
Three boys teams and five girls squad get tournaments under way Friday and Saturday.
One of the more interesting hoop festivals and certainly the closest is the Eastside Prep Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The tourney will feature a four-team Elite Division with Mitty, St. Francis, Fairfax (Los Angeles) and the Eastside Prep girls, in addition to a Competitive Bracket that has eight teams from Marin Academy to Mission Prep.
Eastside Prep brings an 8-1 record and a No. 70 state ranking, according to MaxPreps.com. The Panthers feature seniors Brije Byers and Destiny Graham, who are averaging 18.3 and 18.0 points a game, respectively. Fairfax, the defending L.A. city champion, features 6-foot-3, Margurite Effa, who has signed with USC. She opened the season averaging 31.5 ppg after two outings.
Eastside Prep hosts Fairfax on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with Mitty and St. Francis squaring off at 4:30 p.m. The round-robin elite field continues Monday and Tuesday with Eastside Prep facing the Lancers and then the Monarchs, both at 7:30 p.m.
In other tournament action, Menlo School (5-1) will be at the Chaminade Classic in Los Angeles and Castilleja (5-2) will be at the Monterey Bay Sweet 16 Invitational, both Friday.
On Saturday, the Sacred Heart Prep boys (4-1) will be at the Surf N Slam in San Diego and the Pinewood boys (4-1) will be playing in the St. Francis Holiday Tournament.
In girls' action, Menlo School (5-1) will face Washington (San Francisco) in the Notre Dame-Belmont tourney on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Menlo-Atherton (5-2) opens play in the Newark Memorial Tournament, and Palo Alto (7-1) is at the Notre Dame-Belmont event at 2 p.m.
In boys' hoop action Tuesday night at the D.J. Frandsen Memorial Tournament at Bellarmine Prep:
Senior Alex Dees tied the game in the final six seconds of regulation and Palo Alto went on to down previously unbeaten Leland, 76-71, in overtime to claim the White Division championship.
Kevin Mullin, named the MVP of the division, scored 18 points to lead the Vikings (6-2), who scored the final eight points of regulation. Johnny Rojahn added 13 points, Miles Tention had 12 and Oliver Svirsky 10.
On Monday, Mullin scored a career-high 34 points while carrying the Vikings to a 66-64 victory over Oak Grove. Mullin made nine 3-pointers in 15 attempts for a remarkable 60 percent and added a single two-point goal for a 20-for-21 shooting effort on the night. He added 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Dees added eight points and nine rebounds with junior Mike Grandy finishing with seven points and eight rebounds. The Vikings wound up making 12 of 23 three-point attempts (52 percent). Paly forged a 35-29 halftime lead and held on as Mullin eventually fouled out.
Sacred Heart Prep won the Blue Division title, beating Fremont (Oakland), 83-65, as junior Mason Randall earned MVP honors after scoring a season-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers.
Junior Connor Moses scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half. Corbin Koch added 17.
SHP was 23 of 30 from the foul line against Fremont (5-5).
Randall poured in 23 points on Monday to pace the Gators to a 67-55 victory over host Bellarmine.
Sacred Heart Prep held a three-point lead after three quarters. SHP converted eight 3-pointers, with Randall accounting for four. Moses added 14 points. SHP made 19 of 27 foul shots, taking advantage of 25 fouls on the Bells (4-2).
Menlo School had four players in double figures in its 72-45 victory over host Sequoia in a game rescheduled from Dec. 11.
Sophomore Sam Erisman and junior Mackenzie Duffner each scored 14, while senior Olivia Ferrando added 12 and junior Anna Miller netted 11.
The Knights (5-1) led 25-9 after the first quarter and 45-18 at halftime
Menlo-Atherton dropped a 44-33 decision to visiting Presentation despite 10 points each from senior Naomi Baer and sophomore Ofa Sili.
Gunn senior wrestler Ian Cramer produced three straight wins, including two by pin, to capture the 145-pound division at the 2014 Lynn Dyche Classic on Saturday at James Lick High in San Jose.
Cramer's efforts helped the Titans finish fifth in the 24-team tourney. Gunn took 11 athletes and came away with one champ and seven other medalists. The Titans scored 113.5 points to trail first-place Oak Grove (170), Palma (153), Leigh (144.5) and Carothers (126.5).
Cramer, a team captain, had two pins before posting a 15-0 (technical fall) in the finals. He finished second at the Central Coast Section Championships last season and currently is ranked No. 1 in his weight class in the CCS.
Gunn's Alex Yu went 3-1 with three pins and finished third at 170 pounds. Teammate Tanner Kerrins went 3-2 and was fourth at 138, while Shelby Oyung (2-2 at 132), David Abramovitch (2-2 at 126) and Kirill Demyanenko (3-2 with three pins at 285) all placed fifth. Jonah Wager was 2-3 with two pins at 182 and finished sixth with Zane Koehler taking seventh at 195.
Elsewhere, Palo Alto's Alexa Austin dominated the 121-pound weight class at the 12th annual Castro Valley Girls Wrestling Classic. Austin went 3-0 with a major decision (18-5) in the finals to improve to 9-1 this season. This tournament is known as one of the tougher girls'-only events in the state.
Paly teammate Sara Aguilar finished third at 189 pounds, going 4-1 while only losing to last year's state champ, Jackie Quinones of Arroyo (Southern Section).