The Menlo-Atherton girls clinched no worse than a tie for the PAL South Division basketball title with a 53-29 romp over visiting Burlingame on Tuesday night.
The Bears improved to 10-1 in league (18-5) overall and hold a one-game lead over Hillsdale with one to play.
Hillsdale beat last-place Woodside on Tuesday night. The Wildcats will visit M-A on Thursday (6:15 p.m.) to wrap up the regular season. The Bears, however, will be the No. 1 seed for the upcoming PAL playoffs and will host the No. 4 team from the North Division on Feb. 18.
M-A faced a rising Burlingame that entered with a 6-4 league record. Any concern that the Bears might let down were put to rest as M-A dominated the first quarter 21-0.
The Bears could do no wrong in the first with Megan Sparrow scoring six and Ilana Baer and Maddy Kim scoring and assisting. Senior captain Sarah Howell hit three of her career-high six 3-pointers in the first period.
A stunned Burlingame team regrouped, led by senior Claire Phillips who scored six of her 16 points in the second period. However, it was M-A's night as 10 Bears scored -- including senior Erin Goode, who added a 3-pointer.
In the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division), Pinewood maintained its lead with a 67-25 romp over host Sacred Heart Prep. The Panthers improved to 10-0 and 19-2 while the Gators dropped to 2-7 and 11-10 overall.
Pinewood raced to a 22-6 first- quarter lead and rolled from there. Senior Gabi Bade led a balanced scoring effort with 14 points with junior Chloe Eackles adding 13 and sophomore Akayla Hackson had 11.
In Palo Alto, Eastside Prep remained in a tie for second place following a 50-43 victory over host Castilleja. Seniors Destiny Graham and Brije Byers each scored 17 points for the Panthers (7-2, 17-4) while senior Paige Vermeer led the Gators (1-8, 9-12) with 15 points. Ellie Chen added 13.
In San Francisco, Menlo School held on to a share of second place following a 53-31 victory over host Mercy-San Francisco, The Knights (7-2, 15-5) rallied from a 7-6 first-quarter deficit by scoring 30 points over the next two quarters and holding the Skippers to 12. Sam Erisman led Menlo with 16 points with Kenzie Duffner pulling down nine rebounds. The Knights will host Salesian in a nonleague game Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Sacred Heart Prep won its 12th straight game and held on to first place in the WBAL with a 60-46 victory over visiting King's Academy. The Gators (11-0, 19-2) held a 21-18 halftime lead before finally pulling away in the second half. Junior Connor Moses continued to sparkle offensively with 20 points while junior Mason Randall and senior Corbin Koch each added 15 points. Randall and Moses combined for eight 3-pointers.
In Campbell, Pinewood held on to second place as Matthew Peery hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lift the Panthers to a 42-39 WBAL victory over host Harker. Pinewood (9-1, 15-5) lost senior scoring leader Ryan Brice to a knee injury on the first possession of the game. The Panthers battled back from a 23-22 halftime deficit with Peery leading the way with 11 points. Ryan Knotts added eight points and five rebounds.
In Portola Valley, Menlo School held on to third place in the WBAL following a 54-47 victory over host Priory. The Knights (8-3, 14-6) pulled away with a 22-11 advantage in the third quarter. Jared Lucian led the Knights with 19 points, eight coming in the third period. Liam Dunn made seven of eight free throws and finished with 13 points with Jack Hammond contributing 10.
Andy Isokpehi and Scott Harris led Priory (4-7, 12-8) with 16 points each. The difference in the game proved to be 3-point shooting as Menlo made eight and Priory just one.
In Hillsborough, visiting Eastside Prep (2-8, 12-8) posted a 55-30 victory over Crystal Springs.
In the PAL South Division, Menlo-Atherton and host Burlingame met in a battle for third place with the Bears dropping a 52-42 decision. After trailing by one at halftime and giving up the first two points of the third period, M-A (7-4, 12-10) used multiple steals and went on a 12-0 run for a 31-22 lead midway through the quarter.
The Panthers answered with nine straight points and took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter before outscoring the Bears, 19-11. Blake Henry had a game-high 19 points for M-A. He hit all five of his shots in the final period while scoring all 11 of the Bears' points.
Menlo-Atherton is now tied for fourth place with Hillsdale while Burlingame is tied for second with Sequoia. M-A will host Woodside on Thursday before heading into the PAL playoffs next week.
In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn set up a showdown for first place following a 69-38 romp over host Monta Vista. Alex Gil-Fernandez tallied 17 points with Jonathan Davis and Jeffrey Lee-Heidenreich each adding 11 as the Titans improved to 8-1 in league (15-3 overall). Gunn will host Saratoga (9-1) on Friday (6:15 p.m.), with the winner grabbing sole possession of first place.