Sports

Pinewood girls move closer to clinching WBAL title

 

Only two days after escaping with a three-point win over Scotts Valley, the Pinewood girls blew away visiting Mercy-San Francisco, 65-27, Monday night in a West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) basketball game that was rescheduled from last Friday.

The Panthers improved to 9-0 in league and 18-2 overall while winning their 12th straight. Pinewood holds a two-game lead with three to play and can clinch no worse than a tie for the title by beating host Sacred Heart Prep (2-6, 11-9) on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The outright title can be won against visiting Menlo School on Feb. 18.

On Monday, Pinewood grabbed a 17-3 first-quarter lead and was up by 29-6 at halftime before coasting in the second half.

Senior Nia Craig had her best outing of the season with a game-high 18 points, 13 rebounds and two steals for Pinewood, which came in ranked No. 6 in the state and No. 11 in the nation by MaxPreps.com.

Junior Chloe Eackles added 16 points, five rebounds and three assists and senior Gabi Bade finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Pinewood shot a season-low 15 percent from 3-point range (3 of 20) but pulled down 41 rebounds.

In a WBAL Skyline Division game, Priory defeated Crystal Springs, 43-34, without standout freshman guard Tatiana Reese. She is sidelined for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

In games this week with championship implications, the Palo Alto girls will visiting Mountain View on Friday with a chance to win the SCVAL De Anza Division crown. Paly is 10-0 (20-2 overall) and Mountain View is 8-1 (16-4). A victory in the 7:45 p.m. game will give the Vikings a two-game lead over the Spartans with just one to play.

The Menlo-Atherton girls take a one-game lead over Hillsdale into the final two games of the PAL South Division regular season this week. The Bears are 9-1 and 17-5 and can clinch no worse than a tie for the title by beating visiting Burlingame on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Should Hillsdale also win, M-A will be forced to beat visiting Woodside on Thursday (6:15 p.m.) to win the division title outright.

Soccer

The Sacred Heart Prep and Palo Alto boys can clinch outright titles this week, while the Paly girls and SHP boys may have to wait until next week.

The SHP girls can win the WBAL Foothill Division title by beating or tying visiting Menlo School on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.). The Gators are 8-0 and 14-2-1 and have 24 points with two matches remaining. The Knights are 6-1-1 (19 points).

A win gives SHP 27 points while a tie means 25 points for the Gators and 20 for the Knights with a match left. Menlo's only hope for a fourth straight league crown is to win twice and have SHP fall twice.

The Palo Alto boys (7-1-1, 11-2-3) hold a one-point lead over Homestead (7-2) heading into Tuesday's home match against Mountain View. If the Vikings beat the Spartans and then topple host Homestead on Thursday, Paly takes the SCVAL De Anza Division title.

The Palo Alto girls, meanwhile, are tied for the De Anza Division lead with Mountain View. Both are 8-1. The Vikings need to beat the host Spartans on Tuesday and top visiting Homestead on Thursday to gain no worse than a share of the division title. Paly can win the title outright by beating host Los Gatos on Feb. 17 if Mountain View wins its final two matches.

The Sacred Heart Prep boys are 7-0-2 for 23 points in the WBAL while Menlo School is 6-2-1 for 19 points. Should the Knights win out, the Gators will have to beat visiting Crystal Springs on Thursday and host King's Academy on Feb. 18 to win their seventh straight WBAL title.

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