Paly soccer teams head into second half of season on top


The Palo Alto boys and girls have a day off on Tuesday while the rest of their respective SCVAL De Anza Division soccer foes battle it out. The bye perhaps comes at a good time, after both Paly squads won three times last week.

The busy, and highly successful, week kept both squads atop the division standings. The boys are 6-0 and 10-1-2 and alone in first place while the girls are 5-1 and 11-1 and tied with Mountain View.

The second half of league play begins Thursday for the Vikings against Los Altos, the boys on the road and the girls at home. Simply put, both Paly teams control their own destiny.

The boys wrapped up the first half of their division season with a 1-0 victory over host Los Gatos on Saturday. Paly got the winning goal at the 12-minute mark of the first half as Dami Bolarinwa scored off an assist from fellow junior Roberto Sotelo.

Both teams came out fast and had several chances to score during the first half. The rough, uneven grass field gave both teams problems. Paly finally converted when Sotelo chipped a ball to Bolarinwa, who was nearly stopped by the keeper yet managed to slide the ball into the left corner.

Paly's offensive attack continued into the second half, but missed several shots that could have put the game out of reach. Los Gatos had a few chances that were turned away by the Paly defenders.

Paly junior keepers Alex Bomoni, followed by Eli Friedlander, combined for Paly's seventh straight shutout. The Vikings have not allowed a goal in league play this season. Midfielders Derrick Schoenberger and Wesley Woo led the defense and helped set up the Paly attack.

The Paly girls also posted a shutout over Los Gatos, 2-0, on the Vikings' field. It was Paly's first win over the Wildcats since December 2007. Paly now has outscored the opposition this season, 41-4.

Paly dominated the game as Los Gatos did not record a single shot on goal. After a scoreless first half, Paly wasted no time in the second half as Jacey Pederson took off on a run through the Los Gatos defense and drove a powerful shot past the keeper for Paly's first goal barely a minute into the half.

Paly continued peppering the Los Gatos goal with shots. Finally, in the 77th minute, Natalie Maloney found Alison Lu near the top of the goal area. Lu was unable to find a lane for a shot, but she did find Emily Tomz running to the far post and Tomz tapped in sealing the victory for Paly.

The Gunn boys and girls played Cupertino but results were not reported.

Girls basketball

Pinewood registered perhaps its most impressive victory of the season, a 69-55 nonleague triumph over Cardondelet in the Corner Bakery Showcase on Saturday at Bentley School in Lafayette.

Cardondelet came into the game ranked No. 8 in the state and left with only its second loss in 17 games. Pinewood, meanwhile, improved to 13-2 and this week is ranked No. 7 in the state and No. 10 in the nation by

The Panthers also are No. 1 in the state in Division V and No. 2 in the Central Coast Section behind St. Ignatius, which handed Pinewood one of its losses. SI is ranked No. 4 nationally.

Senior Gabi Bade had her best game of the season after returning from an early season injury. She poured in 22 points with six rebounds, four steals and two assists. Freshman Stella Kailahi added 15 points and six boards and senior Marissa Hing added 12 points plus four assists.

In another nonleague game Saturday, Castilleja's defense keyed a 40-30 win over Urban School of San Francisco at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco.

Castilleja (9-7) led by 18-14 at the half behind senior Paige Vermeer's driving layups and long-range 3-pointers. The Gators upped the lead to 34-20 in the third period as senior center Yasmeen Afifi scored eight points inside. The Gators' defense forced several shot-clock violations by Urban, and the Blues (12-6) did not threaten in the fourth period.

Vermeer, who on Friday night had recorded her seventh double-double of the season in a loss to host Sacred Heart Prep, scored a game-high 15 points -- including a trio of threes -- and added six rebounds. Afifi had her best game since returning from injury, with 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Sophomore Cate Alder, who last week had her 100th career assist, dished out a season-high seven assists. Maddie Tarr pulled down seven boards.

Castilleja will host first-place Pinewood on Tuesday in West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) action at 6:30 p.m.


Gunn senior team captain Ian Cramer (138 lbs) lost his first match of the season at the Mid Cal Invitational at Gilroy High on Saturday night. After winning his first 20 matches, 17 by fall, Cramer lost in the finals of the prestigious tournament.

Greg Gaxiola, California's No. 5-ranked wrestler at 138 pounds from the Central Section's Buchanan High, was able to take down Cramer twice to secure a 5-1 decision. Cramer is ranked No. 6 in the state.

Cramer went 4-1 in the event. He opened with a 13-0 decision over Shawn Souza of Turlock before pinning David Tran of Fremont in 3:11. Cramer pinned Alexander Jang of Miramonte in 2:24 to reach the semifinals, where he pinned McMcCann of Monta Vista in 3:49.

Only four Titans wrestled in the Friday-Saturday event and came away with a 40th place out of the 80 teams entered.

David Abramovitch was 2-2 at 120 pounds, Tanner Kerrins was 2-2 at 132 and Kirill Demyanenko was 0-2 at 285.

Host Gilroy won the tournament with all of the other top-10 teams coming from the Central Section. Monta Vista and Fremont were the two highest SCVAL teams, placing 12th and 13th respectively.

Gunn will visit Cupertino on Tuesday before hosting rival Palo Alto on Thursday, both SCVAL De Anza Division dual matches at 5:30 p.m.

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