Sports

Gunn boys avenge only loss of season, topple rival Paly

 

For the Gunn boys basketball team, Friday night's SCVAL De Anza Division showdown against Palo Alto was more than just a rivalry game -- it was a revenge game.

The Titans exacted payback on the only team to defeat them this season, defeating the visiting Vikings, 72-59, in front of a raucous home crowd.

With the victory Gunn (6-1, 13-1 overall) remained in first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division, while Palo Alto (3-4, 12-7 overall) fell to three games behind the Titans in the standings with its second straight loss this week.

Gunn also snapped a 10-game losing streak to Paly, dating to the teams' second meeting of 2009. The Titans finished 11-1 and captured the division title that season.

Jonathan Davis led the Titans with 23 points, while backcourt mate Alex Gil-Fernandez added 21 points. For the Vikings, Justin Hull scored 15 points and Max Dorward scored 11 points.

"(Davis) definitely set the tone for us with his scoring," Gunn head coach Brandynn Williams said. "His leadership, getting the guys energized . . . it was great."

Davis did not play in the first meeting between the Titans and Vikings due to an illness, and his return to the lineup made all the difference in the second matchup.

"Every time we've played these guys in the past we kind of hype this game up and get a little nervous and anxious," Davis said. "This time I really just thought of it as a regular game."

The Titans shot the ball extremely well from beyond the arc, knocking down eight 3-pointers and a bevy of mid-range jumpers. One of the most impressive long bombs came with seconds left in the first half, as Davis banked home a 30-foot trey from the left wing to give Gunn a 15-point lead at the break.

"We definitely got hot and we rode that momentum," Williams said.

During the second half, both teams had key players suffer injuries. Paly guard Miles Tention was hurt diving for a loose ball in the third quarter and did not return, while Gunn forward Jeffery Lee-Heidenrich suffered a deep cut on his chin in the fourth quarter and also was forced to leave the game.

Although the Titans enjoyed leads as large as 20 points in the second half, Davis noted the Titans' defensive effort never wavered.

"Coach (Williams) sat us down and said 'keep fighting, don't let up.' And that's exactly what we did."

In other games Friday night:

Menlo-Atherton opened up a two-game lead in the PAL Bay Division with a 72-61 victory over host Sequoia. The Bears moved to 8-0 in league (17-2 overall). Second-place Burlingame, meanwhile, suffered a 57-54 upset loss to Capuchino and fell to 6-2 in the division.

M-A raced to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, but Sequoia closed to 19-17 at the end of one. In the second period, it went back and forth and Sequoia went to halftime leading 36-32. M-A rallied to tie the game at 51 heading into the final period, thanks to nine points from Eric Norton.

With M-A holding a 62-61 lead, the Bears scored 10 unanswered points. Norton led the Bears with 20 points and four steals. Blake Henry had 17 points and nine boards, Lucas Fioretti had 15 points and Christian Fioretti had 16 points, 10 assists and five boards.

In the West Bay Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep remained in first place following a 66-47 victory over host Crystal Springs. Mason Randall knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 25 points for the Gators (8-0, 10-7), who jumped out to a 42-13 halftime lead.

In Los Altos Hills, Pinewood held on to sole possession of second place in the WBAL following a 73-58 triumph over visiting Priory. Matt Peery tossed in 19 points for Pinewood (7-1, 10-7), which pulled away by scoring 40 second-half points. Roshan Bal added 14 points and Ryan Knotts 12 for Pinewood. Ayo Aderoboye led Priory with 14 points with 6-foot-9 Emmanuel Ajanaku adding 12.

In East Palo Alto, senior Daryl Carr scored 17 points to pace host Eastside Prep to an impressive 71-65 victory over Menlo School in WBAL action. Isaiah East and fellow junior Aaron Cason each added 15 points for the Panthers (2-6, 10-7), which held a 39-27 halftime lead.

The Knights (4-4, 6-12) climbed back to 65-62 with a minute left in the game, but Eastside converted its shots and made free throws down the wire. Menlo senior Jared Lucian made 9 of 15 from the field, including two 3-pointers, to finish with a game-high 22 points. He also had four steals and three assists.

Charlie Roth, also a senior, added 14 points and six rebounds for Menlo.

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