This Palo Alto-Gunn rivalry has some meaning again


The basketball rivalry is back on for the Palo Alto and Gunn boys who, on Friday, will face each other in SCVAL De Anza Division action for the first time since 2012.

The teams have been in opposite divisions for the past three seasons and have played each other only once each year in nonleague play. Palo Alto won each time. The Vikings' win streak over the Titans stands at nine -- Gunn's last win coming in their second meeting of 2009.

Gunn went 11-1 that year and won the SCVAL De Anza Division title, despite losing to Paly in their meeting of the season.

Friday's matchup is set for 7:45 p.m., the finale of a quad that includes the Gunn and Palo Alto girls facing each other at 6:15 p.m.

Gunn coach Brandynn Williams and Paly coach Peter Diepenbrock will be facing each other for the first time since Williams was a senior guard on Diepenbrock's 1999 Paly team.

The Gunn boys are off to an 8-0 start after holding off visiting Fremont, 49-46, in a division opener on Wednesday. Palo Alto is 9-3 overall following a 59-53 overtime win over host Los Gatos.

The Vikings had to battle back from an 18-11 first-quarter deficit and still trailed by 42-38 heading into the fourth quarter. Paly got buckets from five different players in the final period to force overtime. In the extra period, junior Jack Simison scored four of his game-high 19 points, Justin Hull drained a 3-pointers and Ethan Stern hit one of two free throws to give Paly the victory.

In the PAL South Division, host Menlo-Atherton began its quest for a championship by romping to a 69-28 victory over Capuchino. The Bears (1-0, 9-2) led wire to wire after grabbing a 15-5 first-quarter lead and holding a 41-15 advantage at intermission as M-A used an aggressive man-to-man defense and fast-breaking offense.

Eric Norton led M-A with 13 points with Lucas Fioretti scoring all 12 of his points in the first half. Christian Fioretti tallied 10 points and Bradley Stillman added eight.

Girls basketball

Menlo-Atherton opened defense of its PAL South Division title with a 65-37 romp over host Capuchino on Wednesday night. Sophomore Greer Hoyem led the Bears (1-0, 11-2) with 16 points.

M-A started quickly by scoring 21 points in the first quarter as all five starters got on the board, as well as freshman Mele Kailahi with four points. To start the second quarter, Capuchino held M-A scoreless for the first 3 1/2 minutes and looked to be tightening the game. However, the Bears rallied and grabbed a 34-23 halftime lead behind 10 points from sophomore Carly McLanahan.

The Bears took control in the third period as Hoyem and junior Ofa Sili combined for 13 points. Sili finished with 10, McLanahan had 13 and Kailahi had a season-high 10.

In nonleague action, host Pinewood jumped out to a 28-8 lead in the first quarter and rolled to an 86-30 victory over Washington of San Francisco. The Panthers (8-2) had 14 three-pointers with freshman Kaitlyn Leung knocking down three. Sophomore Brianna Claros led Pinewood with 16 points with freshman Hannah Jump finishing with 15.

In Richmond, Menlo School (9-3) was outscored 9-0 in the first period on the way to dropping a 57-23 nonleague game to host Salesian. The Knights managed just five points in the first half. Sam Erisman had eight points to lead Menlo, which suffered its most lopsided loss of the season in its first game back from winter break.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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