Tony Martinelli understands the relationship between his Sacred Heart Prep basketball team and the school's football program. It has been become evidently clear in recent years as the grid squad has played deep into the season -- twice playing for a state championship in the past three years.
"I realize that, without a successful football program, I would most likely not get the type of athletes that we currently have in the program," he said." For the players, it makes for a more complete high school experience and in the end, that is all that really matters."
Fortunately for both teams, having seasons overlap hasn't affected either squad as both have been highly successful. As have the players. Senior Andrew Daschbach, for example, was named last week to the Small School All-American first team as a tight end by MaxPreps.
Daschbach was among a handful of SHP football players who had their hoop seasons delayed.
"We got together as a team for the first time on January 1st and we have just finished our second full week together," explained Martinelli.
While basketball got off to a 1-7 start, the Gators are now 6-7 following a 3-0 week.
"It was a nice week," Martinelli said. "TKA was undefeated in league coming into our place and we got a win . . . (we) battled back from 22 down against Menlo in a heated rivalry game and then had enough in the tank to beat a very good SPSV team in OT."
SHP capped its week with a 66-63 win over St. Patrick/St. Vincent in the 12th annual MLK Jr. Memorial at Piedmont High in Oakland on Saturday.
"They tied it to get it to overtime," said Martinelli. "Their point guard (BJ Standley, who had 27 points), who is one of the best I have seen since Trevor Dunbar at SI, got a steal and we fouled him before he got to the hoop. He calmly made both free throws."
In overtime, SHP's Mason Randall and Connor Moses each hit big 3-pointers. Nick O'Donnell, who played football with Randall, got a layup before Randall hit one of two free throws.
"We hung on from there," Martinelli said.
Moses finished with 24 points and Randall added 23 as both drained six 3-pointers. Randall finished the week with 14 treys and 51 points.
"I am really proud of the toughness and poise that we have shown to this point and I am looking forward to even better basketball in the weeks to come," Martinelli said.
The Gators will put their 4-0 mark in the West Bay Athletic League on the line Tuesday night against host Pinewood (4-0) in a showdown for first place at 6:30 p.m.
Eastside Prep was routed by visiting Windward of Los Angeles, 59-29, in a nonleague game in East Palo Alto. The host Panthers fell to 8-8 overall. Freshman Zion Gabriel led Eastside Prep with 13 points.
After getting off to slow starts this season, Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep are on a roll heading into their biggest match (thus far) of the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) season.
That arrives Tuesday when the Knights visit the defending champion Gators at 3:30 p.m. Both teams are 2-0 in league play and are coming off three-win weeks.
Menlo (4-2-3) rallied from a 1-0 deficit to beat host San Lorenzo Valley, 2-1, in a nonleague match on Saturday in Felton.
The Knights countered SLV when Emily Demmon headed in a free kick by Daria Sprague in the 30th minute to tie the game, 1-1.
Menlo dominated the game, but had a tough time putting away their chances. Still, Menlo came through with the winner when freshman Alexa Thomases scored in the 73rd minute.
The Knights' Eliza Crowder, Julia Wang and Sprague had standout efforts against SLV (4-3).
In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep (6-4) rolled to an 8-0 victory over visiting Harbor of Santa Cruz behind the one-two punch of sophomore Mia Shenk and senior Tierna Davidson.
Shenk had three goals and two assists with Davidson contributing one goal and two assists. During their three wins during the week, Shenk had six goals and five assists with Davidson finishing with four goals and five assists.
Appropriately, the two teamed for SHP's first, and winning, goal in the 11th minute with Shenk scoring off Davidson's assist. Shenk scored three minutes later (assist Ingrid Corrigan) and Davidson following four minutes later (assist Audrey Shenk). Lexi Lamb scored off an assist from Lindsey Johnson to make it 4-0 in the 24th minute before Johnson scored on Davidson's assist in the 26th minute for a 5-0 halftime lead.
Johnson scored twice in the second half, assisted both times by Shenk. Finally, it was Shenk finishing off the second 8-0 win of the week with Johnson assisting.
In another nonleague match Saturday, Castilleja and San Mateo played to a scoreless tie.
Alex Feghhi went 4-0 and won the 170-pound title as the Los Gatos High School Frosh-Soph Invitational. Feghhi helped the Titans place eighth out of 37 teams. Freshman Koh Suzuki was second at 126 and freshman Dash Lee was third at 195.