Sports

Tennis teams putting finishing touches on regular seasons

 

Local tennis teams are putting the finishing touches on the regular season this week, some playing their final league matches before heading into their respective individual tournaments -- all leading into next week's start of the Central Coast Section Team Tournament.

The Sacred Heart Prep boys (10-2, 16-6) wrapped up their dual-match season in the West Bay Athletic League with a 6-1 triumph at Pinewood on Monday.

The Gators' lone losses came to regular-season champ Menlo School (11-0, 15-3), which is going after its 240th straight league dual-match victory on Tuesday against visiting Harker.

The Knights have won 20 straight league titles under head coach Bill Shine, in his 20th season at Menlo with a record of 471-49.

Facing a dominant program like Menlo can be frustrating, but Sacred Heart Prep coach Jeff Arons has to be satisfied with a solid effort this season that has propelled his team into the CCS team playoffs once again.

"We are very pleased with our season so far," said Arons. "We have a great group of boys (six seniors) who enjoy playing for each other and for SHP. They are getting better too!"

The Gators, for example, went 5-0 last week while playing Monday through Friday. Will Ritchey went 5-0 in doubles and John Desler went 4-0, not including a default against Cupertino.

SHP will take that momentum into the WBAL Individual Tournament on Thursday (12:30 p.m.) and Friday (11 a.m.) at Menlo School before heading into CCS.

Menlo, meanwhile, was hoping for one of its toughest tests of the season last Friday against host St. Ignatius, but the match was rained out. Thus, Shine and his players will head into CCS not having faced a team that could end the Knights' streak of seven straight section and/or NorCal crowns.

Menlo-Atherton, meanwhile, went 3-0 last week to finish 14-0 in the PAL Bay Divsiion and wrap up its eighth straight league dual-match title. Seven of those campaigns have been undefeated and the Bears are now 112-1 in league since winning the final three matches of the 2008 season.

M-A has the PAL Individual Tournament at Burlingame this week before heading into CCS with a 17-4 record and an expected high seed.

Boys golf

Sacred Heart Prep's shot at upsetting undefeated Harker came up short during a 196-210 dual-match loss in WBAL action Tuesday at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club. The Gators fell to 5-4 in league (5-6 overall) heading into Thursday's regular-season final against Pinewood at Palo Alto Hills.

Shane Snow led SHP with a 3-over 39 while Scout McNealy earned medalist honors with a 37 for Harker, which has the three younger brothers of Stanford's reigning NCAA Player of the Year Maverick McNealy.

SHP will compete in the WBAL Championships next Monday at Half Moon Bay Golf Links with hopes of earning an at-large berth into the CCS playoffs.

Boys lacrosse

Sacred Heart Prep moved closer to a possible perfect lacrosse season in the PAL Bay Division following a 20-4 romp over visiting Sequoia on Monday.

The Gators (7-0, 13-4) got five goals and three assists from Harrison Toig plus three goals and six assists from Jack Crockett in the easy triumph. Trevor Peay and Kevin Tinsley each added three goals with Will Kremer and Frank Bell finishing with two apiece. Bell also had three assists.

Running

Menlo-Atherton High will host its 11th annual fundraising Big Bear Run on Sunday. The 5K race serves as the core fundraiser for M-A's athletic programs. It takes more than $110,000 each year for M-A Athletic Boosters to fund the basic needs for the teams and more than 900 athletes.

Information and registration for the race can be found here .

Softball

Aisley Njissang and Quinn Mitchell combined on a five-inning no-hitter to lead host Pinewood to a 10-0 nonleague victory over Menlo-Atherton. Njissang pitched the first four frames and struck out seven with Mitchell striking out the side in the fifth. Njissang had two hits and four RBI with Cecile Smith adding three RBI for the Panthers (6-7).

— Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online Sports

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