Pinewood girls topple Menlo for the WBAL hoop title


Pinewood freshman Hannah Jump knocked down four 3-pointers and scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Panthers to a 69-43 title-clinching victory over visiting Menlo School in a West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) basketball finale on Tuesday night.

The Panthers improved to 10-0 (20-3) while Menlo finished 8-2 (19-5). Pinewood takes a seven-game win streak into Saturday's regular-season final against Miramonte, ranked No. 4 in the nation by MaxPreps.

"I thought our intensity was really good," said Pinewood head coach Doc Scheppler. "We ran our sets really well; we did a lot of great things except we didn't play smart. It's like, are we doing everything we're not suppose to do to close a game out? It's always been carefree. We might take a bad shot but who cares, that's our style. We're not going to stop playing our style."

Jump went on her own scoring run in the second quarter. The freshman scored 11 consecutive points as Pinewood pulled went up 31-17, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

"Whenever someone hits a shot we always congratulate them for a good pass," said Jump. "Honestly, I made it but it was a whole team effort in them creating the opportunity for me."

In the first quarter, the score went back and forth. Menlo junior Sam Erisman was on fire and tallied 12 points in the quarter. Erisman was outstanding as she finished with 27 of the Knights' 43 points.

With six seconds left in the quarter, Jump nailed a straightaway 3-pointer and the Panthers went up 23-17 to end the quarter.

In the second quarter, soon after Jumps' hot streak, Pinewood went on another run, a 12-4 streak and the Panthers went into halftime with a 45-23 lead.

In the third quarter, the 3-point barrage was in full effect for Pinewood. Junior Erin Poindexter-McHan drilled two, while Jump added one. The Panthers sank 11 3-pointers in the game. The Menlo offense couldn't get going as it was outscored 16-10 in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Erisman did all she could to get Menlo back in the game with nine points, but it wasn't enough.

Pinewood will host Miramonte (11-0, 24-0) on Saturday at 4 p.m., while Menlo will wait for a Central Coast Section playoff seeding.

"It's a nice way to end the regular season for the playoffs," Scheppler said of facing Miramonte, the No. 2 team in Northern California. "Why not play one of the best teams around, see where you're at. This is playoff basketball. You're going to have to play at that level."

In Palo Alto, Eastside Prep got 19 points from Alayah Bell and 16 points from fellow sophomore Kayla Tahaafe in a 56-33 victory over host Castilleja to close the WBAL Foothill Division campaign. The Panthers finished 5-5 (13-11) with the Gators dropping to 1-9 (9-14).

Castilleja was within 34-28 in the third period before the Panthers reeled off 16 unanswered points. Castilleja senior Ellie Chen scored 14 points, with four 3-pointers, giving her the school single-season record of 59 treys. Cate Alder added nine points, four rebounds and two blocks.

In the WBAL Skyline Division, host Priory defeated Crystal Springs, 56-25, and won the league title based on a tiebreaker.

Both Priory and Mercy-San Francisco finished with 9-1 division records, but Priory won the second meeting between the teams. According to WBAL bylaws, that's enough to claim the title.

Freshman Ila Lane led the Panthers (15-5 overall) with 17 points and 12 rebounds with Gabby Ruiz adding 15 points and seven boards. Tatiana Reese finished with nine points, seven rebounds and four assists while Zoe Weiss and Kara Reiss combined for 11 points.

Priory will visit Castilleja on Thursday in a nonleague game at 5:30 p.m.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, first-place Los Gatos defeated Mountain View and second-place Palo Alto won its seventh straight by topping host Wilcox, 58-33, to set up a showdown for first place on Friday.

The Wildcats are 10-1 in league (17-5 overall) and will take on the Vikings (9-2, 16-6) at Gunn High in a regular-season finale at 6:15 p.m. Los Gatos won the first meeting, but Paly played without 6-foot-2 senior Alexis Harris.

The Los Altos at Gunn game was not reported.

Boys basketball

Sacred Heart Prep moved back into a tie for first place with Pinewood in the WBAL race following a 69-27 romp over host Eastside Prep on Tuesday night.

The Gators improved to 11-2 in league (13-10 overall) and head into Friday's regular-season final at Priory (6 p.m.) while Pinewood (11-2, 15-8) hosts Eastside Prep at 5 p.m.

Should both SHP and Pinewood win as expected, the teams will share the league crown. A tiebreaker only comes into play if the same squads are being seeded in the same CCS division, which they are not.

SHP bounced back from last Friday's loss to Pinewood by racing to an 18-2 first-quarter lead against Eastside Prep. It was 31-6 at halftime. Mason Randall drained four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points with Connor Moses adding 10 points.

In Sunnyvale, Priory (7-6, 11-7) fell into a tie for fourth following a 67-52 loss to King's Academy. The game was tied at 15 after one period before the Knights pulled away by seven at halftime and by 12 after three periods. Ayo Aderoboye led the Panthers with 18 points.

Girls soccer

Menlo-Atherton wrapped up an automatic berth into the CCS playoffs with a 10-0 rout of visiting Half Moon Bay on Tuesday. The Bears moved to 9-2-2 in league (29 points) and 11-4-2 overall) heading into Thursday's showdown with league champ Woodside (12-0-1, 14-0-2) at 4 p.m.

With Carlmont (7-4-2) being upset, the Bears clinched second place. Burlingame (7-3-3) has 24 points and Carlmont 23 with one match remaining.

Against Half Moon Bay (1-12), the Bears scored early and quickly. It was 4-0 at halftime following goals by Josephine Cotto, Katie Guenin, Julia Moreton and Zoe Ford. Cotto was the only multiple-goal scorer with two. Goalie Breanna Sandoval also saw time out of the cage and scored a goal.

In nonleague action, Gunn (10-7-1) wrapped up the regular season with a 2-0 nonleague win over visiting King's Academy.

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