The Sacred Heart Prep boys have faced a basketball mathematical problem in recent years, thanks to the success of the football team.
With the Gators playing deep into the football postseason, the basketball squad has opened without a handful of players. The simple process of subtraction has meant a slow start for hoops.
Head coach Tony Martinelli watched his basketball team trudge to a 1-6 start this season before five football players rejoined the squad following a state championship game.
The Gators are now at full strength, which showed on Tuesday as they rolled over visiting Crystal Springs, 69-34, to open the West Bay Athletic League season.
All five football players scored against the Gryphons with Mason Randall tallying 14 points and Andrew Daschbach 10. Nick O'Donnell (5), Kyle Stadler (4) and Justin Harmon (3) rounded out the gridders who combined for 36 points.
Eric DeBrine, a 6-foot-4 sophomore led the Gators (1-0, 2-7) with 17 points and junior Teven Panchal added nine. It was 19-4 after one period and 45-14 at the half.
Another team that struggled in the preseason, Menlo School, also opened the WBAL season with a victory as the Knights topped visiting Eastside Prep, 51-32.
Menlo, which went 2-8 in the preseason, was sparked by senior Jared Lucian's 18 points. He was 6 of 9 from 3-point range in addition to grabbing six rebounds. Sophomore JH Tevis contributed 14 points and seven rebounds while senior Charlie Roth grabbed seven rebounds and dished four assists. Ben Simon finished with five points, four rebounds and four assists.
In Portola Valley, Pinewood gave new coach Jason Peery his first win since taking over the team last week. The Panthers held off host Priory, 54-50, in another WBAL opener.
Junior Matt Peery paced Pinewood (1-0, 4-5) wit 18 points, senior Nathan Beak added 12 and senior Kyle Murphy had 11. Priory (0-1, 4-2) was led by senior Scott Harris, who tallied 15, and Emmanuel Ajanaku's 13.
Sacred Heart Prep continued one of its finest starts in recent years with a 74-30 nonleague romp over host Mercy-Burlingame at College of San Mateo on Tuesday.
The Gators (10-1) grabbed a 27-6 first-quarter lead and made it a 41-12 contest at halftime. Senior guard Riley Hemm led the way with 22 points with Natalie Zimits contributing a season-high 15 points, which was matched by freshman Zoe Zaharias.
In Los Gatos, Palo Alto got its SCVAL De Anza Division season off to a shaky start with a 57-51 loss top host Los Gatos. The game was close throughout until the Wildcats (1-0, 8-4) pulled away in the fourth quarter. Paly (0-1, 7-4) was led by Lauren Koyama's 16 points and 13 from Coco Lovely.
In Palo Alto, Gunn also opened De Anza Division action with a setback as visiting Mountain View posted a 50-40 triumph. Archer Olson led the Titans (0-1, 8-3) with 20 points. Gunn managed just four points in the fourth quarter.
Sacred Heart Prep scored four goals in a 15-minute span of the second half and posted a 6-2 nonleague triumph over visiting Sequoia.
The Gators (3-3) grabbed a 2-0 halftime lead on goals by Lindsey Johnson and Mia Shenk, both assisted by senior Tierna Davidson, but the Cherokees (3-4-1) tied it up quickly just after halftime.
Sacred Heart Prep then blew the match open as Davidson scored off an assist from Shenk in the 48th minute and Shenk battled her way for a goal to make it 4-2 in the 52nd minute following an assist from Johnson. Junior McKenna Angotti scored in the 60th minute and freshman Ingrid Corrigan tallied three minutes later, assisted by Johnson.
In San Jose, senior Jordan Berke scored twice and assisted on a goal by Nicole Yeh to pace Pinewood to a 3-1 nonleague win over host Harker. The Panthers improved to 4-2-1.
In Atherton, the host M-A girls opened their PAL Bay Division season with a 5-0 romp over Capuchino. The Bears improved to 3-2 overall. No scoring details were reported.