Sports

Palo Alto, Gunn girls meet for SCVAL lacrosse playoff title

 

The Palo Alto and Gunn girls finished first and second, respectively, in the SCVAL De Anza Division lacrosse race this season. The Vikings were undefeated while the Titans' only two losses were to Paly.

Thus, it's no surprise that Palo Alto and Gunn will meet on Saturday (11 a.m.) on the Vikings' field to decide the league playoff title.

Palo Alto advanced with a 16-10 victory over visiting Saratoga on Wednesday. The Vikings beat the Falcons for the playoff title last year after Saratoga upended Gunn in the semis.

Paly, which finished 17-5 last season, improved to 17-1 after grabbing a 9-0 halftime lead thanks to its quick attacks and suffocating defense. Goalie Meredith Kinnaman had eight saves in the first half and Megan Valencia had three saves in the second.

Maya Benatar led Paly with seven goals with Lauren Gargiulo and Claire Chevallier each tallied twice with Allie Peery, Paige Bara, Liana Pickrell, Holly Tumminaro and Amalia Roth each finding the net once. Gargiulo contributed four assists.

Palo Alto will be seeking its third straight playoff title since losing to St. Francis the three previous years. The Lancers are now playing in the West Catholic Athletic League.

Gunn advanced to the championship match with a 15-8 victory over visiting Leland on Wednesday night. The Titans (14-4) were led by junior Annie Vesey's four goals. Senior Caroline Chou and freshman Erica Wang each tallied three goals while junior goalie Sithara Kumar came up with her best game of the year and had seven saves.

The Palo Alto boys defeated Mountain View in the SCVAL semifinals, 9-8, and will visit regular-season champion Los Gatos on Saturday for the playoff title at 2 p.m.

Baseball

Gunn put itself in position to play for a co-championship in the SCVAL De Anza Division following a 4-2 victory over host Fremont on Wednesday.

The Titans (11-3, 15-9-1) will visit first-place Cupertino (12-2, 18-8) on Friday (4 p.m.), with a victory by Gunn earning a co-title.

The Titans put themselves in that position as Ravi Levens pitched the team's second straight complete game as Gunn rallied from a 2-0 deficit after three innings. Levens struck out three, walked none and limited the Firebirds to five hits while tossing his first complete game of the season. Guy Kasznik provided a key hit and RBI for Gunn, which took the lead with a two-run fifth inning.

In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep advanced to the semifinals of the Peninsula Athletic League Tournament following a 5-4 win in eight innings over rival Menlo-Atherton.

The last time the teams met, M-A won a protested game that officially knocked the Gators out of title contention in the PAL Bay Division. SHP avenged that defeat by grabbing a 3-0 lead in the first inning and then pulling out the triumph on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth. Andrew Daschbach had doubled to lead off the inning and eventually tallied the winning run as SHP improved to 17-11.

Daschbach and Will Johnston each had two hits, with Johnston slamming a solo home run. Matt Johnston led the Bears (15-14) with two hits. Matt McGarry drove in two runs for M-A in addition to pitching the first six innings with nine strikeouts. The Bears, however, left 12 runners stranded.

SHP used a trio of pitchers -- freshman Angelo Tonas, sophomore Cole Spina and freshman Dominic Cacchione -- with Cacchione getting the win with 1 2/3 perfect innings.

The Gators will visit regular-season champ Carlmont (21-6) on Thursday, with the winner advancing to Friday's title game at Half Moon Bay High at 4 p.m.

Carlmont advanced with a 3-1 win over visiting Menlo School, which ended its season at 6-22.

Softball

Palo Alto ended its season with a 5-4 loss to host Fremont in SCVAL El Camino Division action. The Vikings (4-8, 14-13) got three hits and two RBI from junior Maddie Martinson.

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