The chase for Central Coast Section basketball titles continues for the Sacred Heart Prep, Palo Alto, Priory and Eastside Prep girls as all posted playoff victories in quarterfinal action Saturday.
Second-seeded SHP (18-6) cruised to a 60-30 victory over unseeded Terra Nova in a Division IV matchup, earning the Gators a date in Tuesday's semifinals against No. 3 Monte Vista Christian (22-3) at Menlo School at 7:45 p.m.
Riley Hemm led the Gators with 16 points and Ma'ata Makoni added 14. Grace Battles and Tatum Angotti each added eight points for SHP, which jumped to a 19-9 first-quarter lead and held a 38-13 halftime advantage. The Gators are two victories away from their first section title since 2002.
In Division I, top-seeded Palo Alto (17-7) held off No. 8 Cupertino (17-9) of the SCVAL El Camino Division, 54-42, and will play No. 5 Piedmont Hills (16-10) in the semifinals on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) at Wilcox High.
Palo Alto held a 27-25 halftime lead before clamping down defensively while outscoring the Pioneers, 16-3, in the third period as 6-foot-2 senior Alexis Harris scored eight of her 14 points against her shorter opponents. Harris finished with nine rebounds and three blocks.
While Harris dominated inside Carly Leong hit five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 19 points. The Vikings overcame a poor shooting night at the free-throw line, where they made just 16 of 40 attempts.
In Division V, both No. 1 Eastside Prep and No. 2 Priory posted quarterfinal wins and moved closer to meeting in the finals.
Eastside Prep (14-11) crushed No. 8 Oakwood (15-9) by 68-10 at Del Mar High and will face No. 4 R.L. Stevenson (21-3) in the semifinals on Wednesday at Del Mar High at 5:30 p.m.
Priory (17-5) got 19 points from Gabby Ruiz in a 63-31 romp over No. 7 Pacific Collegiate (12-14) and will face No. 3 St. Francis-Central Coast Catholic (18-8) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Tatiana Reese added 17 points and six rebounds and freshman Ila Lane tallied nine points and six rebounds for Priory, whose starters barely played half the game.
In Division IV, No. 8 Castilleja (10-16) fell behind early and was unable to recover in a 59-29 loss to top seed Scotts Valley (22-4) at Menlo School.
The hot-shooting Falcons quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead and never looked back. The Gators were led by senior Ellie Chen, who closed out her career with 22 points on five 3-pointers, with six rebounds and three steals. Junior Cate Alder added five points, four rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocks.
Chen finished her Castilleja career with numerous school records, including single season 3's (71), most consecutive games with a 3-pointer (30), most consecutive made 3's (7), and most points in a quarter (15), along with 170 career 3's (second all-time), 1,166 points (6th), 198 steals (5th), 370 rebounds and 225 assists.
In Division II, No. 7 Gunn (14-11) saw its season end in a 58-42 loss to No. 2 St. Ignatius. No details were provided.
The Palo Alto girls finished third behind St. Francis and Los Gatos while the Paly boys took fifth at the annual Palo Alto High Spring Invitational held at St. Francis High on Saturday.
The host Lancers posted 179 points for the girls' title with Paly finishing with 140. Bellarmine took the boys' crown with 268 points while the Vikings tallied 76.
Palo Alto seniors Mimi Lin and Reed Merritt were the diving champs, Lin scoring 261.25 points to top the girls and Merritt 322.85 to lead the boys.
Menlo-Atherton had two placers at the CIF Girls State Wrestling Championships that finished up Saturday at the Visalia Convention Center.
Junior Chelsea Wilson pinned her firstd two opponents and defeated her third before dropping a 4-2 decision to eventual state champion Sariyah Jones of Enochs.
Wilson then proceeded to win the consolation semifinals with a 1-0 decision of Esmeralda Arroyo of Elk Grove before pinning Shandrea Shelby of Corona in 4:22 (15-0 tech fall) to finish third.
Wilson's finish is the best by an M-A wrestler in school history. She also earned the Wrestling with Honor award for her performance throughout the day and for her sportsmanlike conduct.
M-A teammate Folashade Akinola advanced to the quarterfinals before she was caught with an unexpected pin. She entered the consolation bracket and defeated Palo Alto's Sara Aguilar, -1. In the next round, Akinola lost to eventual third-place finisher Precious Bell of Eastside.
Aguilar finished 1-2 at the state finals while M-A freshman Abby Ericson did likewise, at 189 pounds to help the Bears finish 11th out of 198 schools.