Sports

Palo Alto boys just perfect with yet another league golf crown

 

It has been another season of perfection for the Palo Alto boys golf team. The Vikings first went 12-0 to win a fourth straight dual-match title in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League and, on Tuesday, captured a fourth straight league tournament crown.

The dual-match finish gave the Vikings a 48-0 league record over four years while the tourney title provided a good tune-up for next week's Central Coast Section regional at Rancho Canada (West) in Carmel Valley.

Paly finished with 365 strokes to hold off second-place Los Gatos, which had 387.

"I'm very happy with their play," Paly coach Doyle Knight said of his squad.

Playing from the black tees (6,418 yards) on the par-71 Santa Teresa Golf Course in San Jose, the Vikings were led by Joonsung Ha's fine 2-under 69. He carded five birdies -- on holes 1 (402 yards, par-4), 2 (492-yards, par-5), 8 (400 yards, par-4), 11 (479 yards, par-5) and 17 (529 yards, par-5) -- and missed an eagle on the second hole.

"That was his low round of the season," Knight said.

Sergi Mata shot a 2-over 73, Ahmed Ali and Henry Gordon shot 74 and Henry Hughes rounded out the scoring with a 75. Matt Lewis also was solid with a 76.

"We need one of two players to step up and play well when another player is having a bad day," Knight said of his team's success this season. "And that is what the guys did today."

No one actually had a real back round, though. A 365 team score with a throw-out 76 is going to take the Vikings a long way, perhaps into NorCals and beyond.

Palo Alto's 365 team score from Tuesday was lower than Bellarmine's winning total (368) at the CCS finals last year. But, the Vikings struggled in the regional and didn't even advance to the finals.

Thus, there's still a lot of goals ahead for the Vikings in the coming weeks.

Baseball

Avenging one of its two losses during the SCVAL De Anza Division regular season, Palo Alto rolled over visiting Los Altos, 9-0, to open the division playoffs.

The Vikings (20-4-1) grabbed a 4-0 lead before blowing the game open with five runs in the third.

Owen Plambeck led off with a single, Justin Hull walked and Max Jung-Goldberg singled home Plambeck. Alec Olmstead followed with a two-run single and Jung-Goldberg scored on a wild pitch. Ben Cleasby singled home Olmstead and Albert Han scored on a single by Ethan Stern.

Olmstead and Cleasby each finished with two RBI with Schoeben and Plambeck each contributing three hits. Olmstead, Hull and Cleasby each had two hits as Paly finished with 14.

Hull got the win while striking out six and allowing just three hits over six innings.

Plambeck singled in Schoeben in the first before the Vikings strung together four singles and a walk to plate three runs in the second.

Palo Alto will visit Los Altos on Thursday (4 p.m.) for the second game in the best-of-three series. A third game, if needed, will be at Paly on Friday at 4 p.m. The winner will face the survivor of the Los Gatos-Wilcox series next week. Los Gatos won its opener, 1-0.

In the PAL Ocean Division, Menlo School kept its title hopes alive with a 7-6 win over visiting South San Francisco. The Knights improved to 9-4 in league and 17-6 overall.

The Knights took an early 3-0 lead and held off the Warriors. Menlo junior starter Chandler Yu improved to 8-1 for the season, and freshman Justin Nam got the save in his first varsity outing.

Nam also helped himself at the plate with a two-run double, driving in Ben Somorjai and Jared Lucian, who also had hits in the third. On a full count in the first, Rylan Pade tripled in the first, then scored on Griff McGarry's double.

Menlo withstood the Warriors' rally in fourth, which included Carlos Solis' three-run homer -- his second home run of the game.

Menlo will visit South SF on Thursday before hosting Harker in a nonleague game Friday to close the regular season.

Boys lacrosse

Sacred Heart Prep reclaimed the PAL Bay Division title from last year's regular-season champ Menlo School by romping past the host Knights, 19-9, on Tuesday.

"Our team played great," said SHP coach Chris Rotelli. "It's an experienced and veteran team, with great young players to compliment the senior leaders. We have had great leadership from the seniors all year, and the team is a really good 'team' where everyone plays an important role.

"We have tried to get better each day, and I think we played our best game yesterday. We will continue to try to get better each day. Our goal now is to win the PAL tournament championship next week, but we are taking it one day at a time."

Will Kremer had six goals and one assist as the Gators improved to 9-0 in league (15-4 overall) with a final match Thursday at Menlo-Atherton (7 p.m.) Jack Crockett added five goals plus three assists and Frank Bell finished with two goals and three assists for SHP, which also got two goals apiece from Harrison Toig and Trevor Peay. Menlo (7-2, 9-9) got four goals from Mason Brady and two from Charlie Ferguson.

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto rolled to a 17-0 victory over host Leland. The Vikings (7-1, 12-4) grabbed a 12-0 halftime lead before the reserves took over. Matthew Seligson led Paly with five goals and five assists. Freshman Patrick Intosh added four goals plus an assist and Owen Dulik scored three times.

Paly is still battling Los Gatos for the league lead.

Girls lacrosse

Palo Alto spoiled Senior Night at Saratoga and wrapped up the regular-season title in the SCVAL race with an 11-9 victory on Tuesday night.

The Vikings (12-1, 14-4) got four goals from Maya Benatar plus two each from Abby Ramsey, Emily Wood and Ellen Goncher. Emma Staiger also scored while goalie Meredith Kinnaman had another terrific night while recording 10 saves. Palo Alto will celebrate its Senior Night on Friday (6 p.m.) against visiting Pioneer to wrap up the regular season.

In the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division), Menlo School kept pace with first-place Sacred Heart Prep with a 16-2 drubbing of host Burlingame. The Knights moved to 7-1 in league (11-6 overall) and remain a game back in second place.

Nikky Price led Menlo with four goals and one assist with Kaitlin Frangione, Allison Liddle and Charlotte Swisher all scoring twice with senior captain Chelsea Sahami scoring a goal on her birthday. The Knights out-shot the Panthers, 33-8, led in draw controls 14-7 and contested ground balls, 23-19.

Menlo will visit Menlo-Atherton on Wednesday (4 p.m.) The Bears (5-3, 9-8) are coming off a 20-5 drubbing of host Sequoia on Tuesday behind five goals from Grace Tully and four each from Emma Easton and Izzy Regonini.

Softball

Castilleja remained a game back of first place in the WBAL Foothill Division following a 9-3 victory over host Pinewood. The Gators (7-1, 13-7) got two RBI from Megan Johnson and Jordan Yau to support Tara Thakurta's six-hit complete game. Thakurta has accounted for every Castilleja decision this season while compiling a 13-7 record.

Castilleja still trails first-place King's Academy. Those teams will meet May 13 at Castilleja at 4 p.m., likely to decide the division title and automatic CCS playoff berth.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Palo Alto's Senior Day was spoiled by a 4-2 loss in eight innings to visiting Santa Clara as the Vikings fell to 5-5 in league (6-14 overall). Maggie Renteria had two of Paly's four hits while the Bruins banged out 12. The teams were tied at 2 before Santa Clara scored twice in the top of the eighth.

Track and field

The Gunn girls and Palo Alto boys got their top athletes through to Thursday's SCVAL De Anza Division Championships following Tuesday's trials at Los Gatos High.

For Gunn, it's qualifiers on the track included: Robin Peter (100 hurdles, 100, 300 hurdles), Maya Miklos (400, 300 hurdles), Jenae Pennywell (100, 200) and Tara Tracy in the 300 hurdles.

Interestingly enough, Miklos did not run the 100 hurdles, rather to concentrate on the 400, which she won in 57.89, and the 300 hurdles (second in 46.39). She leads the CCS in both events.

For the Paly boys, senior Eli Givens was the top qualifier in the 100 (10.94) and 200 (22.13), both wind-legal times. Dami Bolarinwa advanced in the 400 (51.91) and 200 (a windy 22.62), Austin Cox advanced in the 100 (11.19), Tommy Vonghom moved on in the 110 high hurdles, and Tanner Newell qualified in the 400.

The Paly girls also had a good day with Titi Bolarinwa qualifying No. 1 in the 200 (25.80) and No. 2 in the 400 (59.87 -- her first time under a minute). Catherine Yu advanced in the 100 hurdles (15.57, Laoula Amanoni made it in the 200 and 400, and Maya Reuven qualified in the 100 and 200.

Trials were not held in running events longer than the 400 or in varsity field events.

The league finals will be Thursday at Los Gatos High, starting at 2 p.m.

— Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online Sports

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