The Sacred Heart Prep boys have their seventh straight West Bay Athletic League soccer title. This one, however, is different than the previous six. This one is shared.
The Gators could have won the title outright by beating visiting Harker on Friday. Instead, the Eagles held SHP scoreless and the teams settled for a deadlock to ruin Senior Day for the Gators.
That tie, coupled with a 2-0 King's Academy win over Menlo School, threw the WBAL race into a co-championship between SHP (8-1-3, 12-3-4) and King's. Both teams finished with 27 points.
While the Gators win a tiebreaker for seeding purposes, based on fewest goals allowed, the co-title is not what SHP expected.
"I am very frustrated," said SHP coach Armando Del Rio. "There's no question that losing Riley (Tinsley) and AJ (Hamer, to injuries) has changed our team. Right now, we need to redefine commitment, be a little nastier, put on a work shirt, pack their own lunch pail, and roll up their sleeves."
Sacred Heart Prep will find out its CCS seed during the seeding meeting this weekend.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton wrapped up its championship season with a 4-0 blanking of visiting Woodside. It was M-A's 10th straight victory. The Bears (12-2, 15-3 overall) got the eventually winning goal in the first half from Kyle Smith off an assist from Jesus Ortega, who made it 2-0 after getting an assist from Juan Gastelum. Smith extended the lead to 3-0 before halftime with Ray Milan assisting. Smith finished off his hat trick with an unassisted goal in the second half.
Menlo-Atherton advanced to the PAL Tournament championship game by defeating Half Moon Bay, 54-45, in the semifinals on Friday at Mills High. The Bears (21-5) will face Westmoor in the finals on Saturday at 6 p.m. Both teams are the top seeds in their respective divisions.
The Bears, who will be looking for their first league tourney title since 2008, started fast. Freshman Carly McLanahan hit three first-half 3-pointers and senior captain Naomi Baer drove, scored and drew fouls to help the Bears jump out to a 28-14 lead. McLanahan finished with 12 points and Baer had 11.
Menlo-Atherton's defense dominated the first two quarter, led by Megan Sparrow and Of a Sili, who had five straight defensive takeaways. The second half was a different matter as the Cougars, the No. 2 seed in the South, started hitting their shots. Sophomore Addison Walling scored 16 second-half points while trimming the Bears' 17-point to just four points with 3:00 left in the game. However, the Bears' defense stiffened and Sili hit five free throws to put the game away.
In the West Bay Athletic League, host Pinewood wrapped up a perfect season in the Foothill Division with an 82-37 romp over Castilleja. The Panthers moved to 12-0 in league and 22-2 heading into next week's CCS playoffs, where they will compete in the Open Division. Castilleja (11-13) is hoping for a repeat run to the Division IV title.
Pinewood had 12 players score, with seniors Marissa Hing and Nia Craig leading the way with 15 and 13 points, respectively. It was Senior Night for the Panthers and they swamped the Gators with 36 first-half points.
Paige Vermeer scored seven for Castilleja in the half, but left with an injury in the third period, and the Panthers added 46 more after intermission. Ellie Chen and Maddie Tarr combined for 18 second-half points for the Gators. Chen made four 3-pointers and finished with 15 points while Tarr had nine points.
In Atherton, host Sacred Heart Prep tuned up for the CCS playoffs with a 64-53 win over Notre Dame-San Jose. Natalie Zimits tossed in 15 points for the Gators (3-9, 12-12) with Riley Hemm and Chandi Ingram each adding 13 as they combined on five 3-pointers. SHP pulled away from a 14-14 tie in the first quarter with a 21-point outburst in the second period.
In Eastside Prep, senior Destiny Graham celebrated Senior Night in a big way while leading the Panthers to a 67-21 romp over Mercy-San Francisco. Graham produced 27 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, seven steals and four blocks to help her team move to 10-2 in league and 20-2 overall. Fellow senior Brije Byers added 16 points and freshman Kayla Tahaafe finished with 10.