Pinewood takes first hoops showdown with Eastside Prep


The Pinewood girls won their ninth basketball game in a row with a 57-37 romp over West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) rival Eastside Prep on Friday night in Los Altos Hills.

Pinewood improved to 3-0 (11-2 overall) and stayed in first place while Eastside Prep dropped to 1-2 (8-7 overall). Eastside Prep now has lost four of its past five games.

"When you play an Eastside team you know they're always going to play hard," said Pinewood head coach Doc Scheppler. "The difference between their team now as compared to the previous teams we've played, they've always had someone really tall. Now, their team is completely different. It was a great game for us, good crowd. We've got to clean some things up if we're going to be really good."

With 12 seconds left in the first half, Pinewood started to come away with the lead when freshman Klara Astrom scored on a layup for a 29-19 halftime lead.

In the first quarter, Eastside Prep freshman Zion Gabriel pulled up for a jumper and the Panthers tied the game at 14 going into the second quarter.

Pinewood's offense then started to come alive as it outscored Eastside Prep 15-5. The low-post offense grabbed some key offensive boards that kept possessions going.

"Any time you're a great shooting team and shots aren't going your way, you need two shots every possession and we got a lot of those possessions," said Scheppler.

Pinewood's defense was solid as well in the second quarter, as it allowed just five points and forced five turnovers.

"I'm proud of our defense," said junior Erin Poindexter-McHan. "I'm proud of every single play we're always jumping to the ball. The offense will come but it starts at the defensive end and that's what I love most."

Freshman Hannah Jump, Pinewood's season scoring leader (11 points per game), kept the offense rolling in the third quarter when she nailed a deep 3-pointer and Pinewood went up 34-21. Jump finished with eight points.

Junior Mikaela Topper started out the fourth quarter with a right-handed layup and the Panthers increased their lead to 48-30. Topper finished with a team-high 15 points.

"The mindset is like every other game," said Poindexter-Mchan, who finished with 12 points. "Shoot your shots, get to the paint -- we're going to be ready."

Eastside Preps' Kayla Tahaafe and Gabriel finished with a combined 28 points for the Panthers.

Pinewood is set to play Bishop Alemany (14-5) on Monday in the MLK Shootout at St. Mary's in Stockton while Eastside Prep takes on Windward (10-4) of Los Angeles on Saturday in nonleague action at 4:30 p.m. Windward is coached by former Stanford player Vanessa Nygaard.

Pinewood and Eastside Prep will meet one more time in league play before heading into the postseason.

In Atherton, host Menlo School held on to a share of first place with a 54-46 victory over neighborhood rival Sacred Heart Prep.

Sam Erisman led the Knights (3-0, 12-3) with a game-high 23 points.

SHP (0-2, 11-3) made it a game early, but the Knights pulled away over a key 27-second span in the first half that saw Menlo gain a 29-17 lead following a 9-0 run.

Erisman, who had 27 points earlier in the week, opened the third period with a trey and a 32-17 lead. Mackenzie Duffner finished with 13 points for Menlo while Ma'ata Makoni led SHP with 15 points and Riley Hemm added 12.

In San Jose, Castilleja (0-2, 7-6) rallied from a 19-point third quarter deficit as Ellie Chen scored 18 second-half points, but fell short in a 55-43 loss at Notre Dame-San Jose.

Castilleja forward Anika Adzich was sidelined with three fouls in the first two minutes of play and forward Liz Pang also picked up a pair of early fouls and Notre Dame's frontcourt took advantage for a 28-14 halftime lead.

Chen ignited a comeback that cut a deficit to 48-41 late in the fourth quarter. Chen sank a trio of threes and was 7 of 8 on free throws before leaving with an injury -- allowing Notre Dame to close out the win at the foul line. Chen finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and six steals.

In the PAL South Division, Menlo-Atherton remained in a three-way tie for first place following a 63-43 romp over host Carlmont.

The Bears (4-0, 14-2) jumped out to a 20-10 first-quarter lead with Greer Hoyem scoring 10 of her 16 points on the night. In the second period, six Scots scored as Carlmont rallied back to within six points. However, the Bears' Carly McLanahan scored eight points in in the final two minutes to push the Bears' lead to 14.

In the second half, M-A senior Annalisa Crowe hit a pair of 3-pointers. The Scots upped their intensity with Alyssa Hayes scoring six of her 11 points in the second half. However, the Bears made key shots and defensive stops to put the game away.

McLanahan had seven assists and led all players with 17 points, which included five 3-pointers. The Bears return to action on Wednesday to host co-leader Mills (4-0) at 5:30 p.m.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Carly Leong nailed four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points to pace host Palo Alto to a 69-31 romp over Los Altos at Gunn High.

"This was probably the best games we have played so far this season," said Paly coach Scott Peters. "Total team effort. The great energy was led by senior Maddy Atwater, even though she scored just three points. Her intensity and effort, which included diving for loose balls and deflections, sparked our defensive effort."

Coco Lovely added 15 points for the Vikings (2-2, 9-5) with Skylar Burris finishing with 10. Paly held Los Altos to three points in the second quarter and just two in the final period.

In Los Gatos, Archer Olsen tallied 17 points for Gunn in a 71-46 loss to the host Wildcats. The Titans (1-3, 9-5) managed just four points in the second quarter while falling behind by 38-16 at the half.

In the WBAL Skyline Division, freshman Ila Lane tossed in 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to pace Priory to a 60-23 victory over Mercy-Burlingame at Serra High. The Panthers (2-1, 7-5) also got 13 points and four assists from Tatiana Reese plus 11 points and seven boards from Gabby Ruiz and 10 points with seven rebounds from Sam McCabe.

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