Titles will be on the line in two of three local basketball races this week as the Sacred Heart Prep and Pinewood boys tangle after Menlo-Atherton and Aragon.
First up will be the Menlo-Atherton boys, who will risk their 12-game winning streak Tuesday when the Bears play host to Aragon in a PAL South Division showdown at 5:30 p.m.
The Bears are 10-0 in league (20-2 overall) with just two regular-season games remaining. Their closest challenger is Burlingame, at 8-2. Thus, an M-A victory over Aragon will clinch the outright division title.
M-A clinched no worse than a title tie by beating Carlmont on Friday, 69-55.
In the West Bay Athletic League, first-place Pinewood (10-1) will host King's Academy on Tuesday (6:30 p.m.) before visiting second-place Sacred Heart Prep (9-1) on Friday in a game that should decide the league crown at 6:30 p.m.
Pinewood (14-7 overall) is coming off a 72-58 victory over visiting Menlo on Saturday. Senior guard Nathan Beak exploded for a career-high 40 points to lead the Panthers. Beak hit 6 of 8 shots from 3-point range as Pinewood made 11 treys and held Menlo to 37 percent shooting.
Kyle Murphy added 13 points for Pinewood while sophomore JH Tevis led Menlo with 21 points and seven rebounds. Senior Charlie Roth added 12 rebounds and eight points for the Knights with Jared Lucian tallied 11 points.
Menlo (6-5, 8-13) will visit Sacred Heart Prep (11-9 overall) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., before the Gators play host to Pinewood on Friday. After the Pinewood game, the Gators still must face Eastside Prep and Priory on the road.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto is coming off a three-win week -- capped by a 54-44 victory over Fremont on Saturday at Gunn High. The Vikings improved to 6-4 in league (15-7 overall) and moved into sole possession of third place with two games remaining.
With Gunn (7-2, 14-2) still in control of the division with three games to play, Paly most likely is just playing for a higher seeding for the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Against Fremont, the Vikings grabbed a 17-9 first-quarter lead and overcame nine treys by the Firebirds. Senior Justin Hull had a breakout game with 22 points for Paly with Max Dorward adding 10 points.
The Palo Alto girls, meanwhile, also are coming off a three-win week following a a 53-17 dismantling of visiting Mountain View on Saturday at Gunn High. The Vikings (8-2, 15-6) held the Spartans to single-digit scoring in each quarter, grabbing a 37-6 halftime lead that was sparked by a fullcourt press.
The Vikings pulled their press after halftime, but still took a 49-10 lead into the final period, which featured a running clock.
Alexis Harris finished off a solid week by leading Paly with 10 points. Carly Leong tallied nine points with Skylar Burris, Coco Lovely and Lauren Koyama each adding eight points.
Palo Alto is off this week, but will host first-place Los Gatos (at Gunn High) on Feb. 19 with a chance to tie for first place.
The Menlo-Atherton girls, meanwhile, can clinch no worse than a tie for first place in the PAL South Division by beating host Burlingame (2-8, 4-14) on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Bears (10-0, 20-2) will bring a 17-game win streak into the matchup and a one-game lead over Hillsdale.
M-A can wrap up a perfect league season on Friday at Woodside (2-8, 6-12).
Palo Alto can wrap up the SCVAL De Anza Division title on Wednesday with a victory over visiting Fremont at 3:30 p.m. The Vikings are 7-0-3 in league (24 points) and 13-0-4 overall) and hold a five-point lead over second-place Homestead (5-1-4) with just two to play.