An expanded tournament and a brand new basketball event made for a lot of local happy girls on Wednesday. At the same time, the Menlo-Atherton boys came away with a title, as well, as 2015 came to a championship close for five squads.
At the expanded 24-team Eastside Prep Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, the Menlo School and Menlo-Atherton girls each won a division crown. At the inaugural Joe Schram Holiday Basketball Classic for girls, Pinewood came out on top. And, at the Tim Cole Memorial Tournament, it was the M-A boys putting the finishing touches on a three straight wins with a title.
In East Palo Alto, Menlo-Atherton (9-2) tuned up for this weekend's PAL South Division opener by defeating Granada Hills, 56-36, in the finals of the Competitive No. 2 Bracket.
The Bears switched from a man-to-man defense into a 2-3 zone to limit the aggressive Granada Hills offense. After falling behind by 10-8, the taller Bears took control and went on a 12-0 run over 5 1/2 minutes sparked by junior center Ofa Sili (14 points, 10 rebounds) and sophomore post Greer Hoyem. Ilana Baer added seven points, four assists and six rebounds.
Carly McLanahan, who averaged 15 points and five assists across the three games, was named Tournament (bracket) MVP after scoring 13 against Granada Hills. Hoyem, who averaged 13 points and five rebounds across the three games, was named to the All-Tournament Team.
In the championship game of the Competitive No. 1 Bracket, Menlo led by just five points with under three minutes left in the third quarter, but foul trouble caught up to University-Irvine and the Knights (9-2) pulled away for a 63-38 triumph.
Hannah Paye had 15 points and earned MVP honors for the bracket. Guard De'Jeane Stine came up with 11 steals, sparking a 17-0 run in the fourth quarter, and was named to the all-tournament squad. Sam Erisman added 14 points for Menlo.
In the consolation finals of the Competitive No. 1 Bracket, Sacred Heart Prep took home the honors with a 68-37 romp over El Camino of South San Francisco. The Gators (9-1) held the Rams to just three second-quarter points while pulling away to a 30-11 halftime lead. Ma'ata Makoni led SHP with a season-high 22 points with Grace Battles and Riley Hemm adding 12. The Gators finished with 11 3-poiners.
Also in the Competitive No. 1 Bracket, Enochs High of Modesto made a last-second shot to beat Priory, 57-56. Freshman Ila Lane scored 20 points and grabbed 19 rebounds and was named to the all-tourney team. Sophomore Tatiana Reese added 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers (5-4).
At St. Francis High, the Pinewood girls (7-2) captured the inaugural girls' version of the Joe Schram Holiday Basketball Classic with a 64-43 win over previously unbeaten St. Francis (9-1). Point guard Briana Claros, who had 11 points, was tournament MVP. Chloe Eackles added 12 points for the Panthers while Mikaela Topper and all-tourney pick Akayla Hackson each had nine points. Pinewood junior Erin Poindexter-McHan also earned all-tourney honors.
In the third-place game, Palo Alto topped Mountain View, 50-32, behind 12 points from Coco Lovely and 11 points from Carly Leong, both of whom were named all-tourney. The Vikings (7-3) led 20-6 after one period and 31-14 at the half.
In Salinas, Castilleja defeated Fresno, 47-35, to capture fifth place at the Monterey Bay Sweet 16 Tournament at Hartnell College in Salinas. The Gators (7-4) trailed early before Cate Alder dropped 10 second-quarter points to propel them to a 27-23 halftime lead.
Fresno closed to within two points in the third quarter, but got no closer after a key putback by freshman Anika Adzich. Ellie Chen scored nine points in the final period and the Gators extended their lead by game's end. Chen had 20 points, Alder tallied 19 with nine rebounds and Adzich scored six with seven rebounds. Chen was named to the all-tournament team after compiling 76 points, 25 rebounds, 11 assists and 13 steals in four games.
Menlo-Atherton wrapped up a successful three-game performance at the Tim Cole Memorial Tournament with a 58-54 win over previously unbeaten Berkeley in the championship game at American High in Fremont.
In a wild finale that saw more than 10 offensive fouls, the Bears (8-1) pulled off a thriller. The teams went back and forth in the first half and M-A clung to a 29-26 halftime lead, as Berkeley went on a scoring spurt to close the gap.
M-A stretched the lead to 49-39 on a Bradley Stillman 3-pointer as the clock expired and had a chance to stretch the lead when Mark DeLuca received a double technical. But, M-A missed three of four technical free throws. In a foul-filled fourth quarter, Berkeley closed the gap to one point. But, M-A's Lucas Fioretti grabbed a key rebound and hit four straight free throws in the last 30 seconds to seal the victory.
Lucas Fioretti and Eric Norton each scored 16 points to lead the Bears, with Fioretti adding six rebounds and three steals. Blake Henry added nine points and seven rebounds, Stillman had six points on two key treys and Christian Fioretti chipped in five points and five assists.
Henry was named the MVP of the tourney with Christian Fioretti and Norton making the all-tourney team.
In Mountain View, Palo Alto fell to host St. Francis in the finals of the Joe Schram Holiday Basketball Classic, 69-50, as the Lancers won the title for a third straight year.
The Lancers (7-1) for 15 points from Noah Stapes, who was named the tourney MVP. St. Francis knocked down 11 3-pointers.
The Vikings (7-3) were within 19-13 on a 3-pointer by Spencer Rojahn, who had four 3-pointers for 12 points. Max Dorward added 11 points while Miles Tention was named to the all-tourney team.
2015 EASTSIDE PREP COACHES vs. CANCER CLASSIC
Eastside 53, Arroyo Grande 42 (Consolation Semi)
Mitty 72, Berkeley 38 (3rd Place)
Seton Catholic (AZ) 65, Eastside Prep 45 (Consolation)
Cicero-North Syracuse (NY) 62, Valencia 53 (Championship)
MVP: McKayla Roberts (Cicero-North Syracuse)
Amani Free (Cicero-North Syracuse)
Kayla Konrad (Valencia)
Haley Jones (Mitty)
Sarah Barcello (Seton Catholic)
Competitive No. 1 Bracket
Westmoor 58, KIPP King Collegiate 43 (7th Place)
Leigh 35, University-SF 29 (Consolation)
Enochs 57, Priory 56 (3rd Place)
Menlo School 63, University-Irvine 38 (Championship)
MVP: Hannah Paye (Menlo School)
De'Jeane Stine (Menlo School)
Allison Piper (University-Irvine)
Katie Dillon (Enochs)
Ila Lane (Priory)
Competitive No. 2 Bracket
Woodcreek 53, Marin Academy 45 (7th Place)
Sacred Heart Prep 68, El Camino-SSF 37 (Consolation)
Hanford 67, Lincoln-SF 51 (3rd Place)
Menlo-Atherton, 56 Granada Hills 36 (Championship)
MVP: Carly McLanahan (Menlo-Atherton)
Greer Hoyem (Menlo-Atherton)
Ivy Nguyen (Granada Hills)
Janelle Sumilong (Hanford)
Yuriko Castillian (Lincoln-SF)