The Palo Alto boys and girls lacrosse teams are back in their respective Santa Clara Valley Athletic League playoff title matches and will be facing familiar foes on Saturday when the championships are decided at Gunn High.
Both teams are the defending playoff champs and will face the same teams they defeated last year for those titles -- the girls facing Gunn (11 a.m.) and the boys taking on Los Gatos (1 p.m.).
The Paly girls held off visiting Mountain View, 10-8, in the semifinals on Wednesday. In a back-and-forth game, Paly (16-4) led by just 5-4 at the half before pulling away ever so slightly.
Paly's goals were scored by Abby Ramsey (four), Maya Benatar (two), Kaitlin Chiu, Emma Staiger, Ellen Goncher and Emily Wood. Goalie Meredith Kinnaman recorded five saves for the Vikings, who are coming off an 18-1 record last season.
The Gunn girls (13-8) earned a rematch with Palo Alto after holding off visiting Leland, 10-8, in the other semifinal on Wednesday. Gunn was led by Annie Vesey's three goals while Andrea Garcia-Milla and Jenny Chen each scored twice.
As for the Paly boys, they suffered only one loss during the SCVAL regular season and the Vikings will have a chance to avenge that defeat after rolling past visiting Saratoga, 16-3, in the playoff semifinals. Paly (14-4) fell to Los Gatos on April 21 after the Vikings had won the first meeting.
Paly senior Matthew Seligson led the Vikings against out-manned Saratoga with six goals and two assists. Freshman Patrick McIntosh added four goals plus an assist. Junior Hayden Libbey and senior Ari Momeny each tallied twice and provided an assist with seniors Cole Tierney and Owen Dulik scoring once.
In the Peninsula Athletic League Tournament, rivals Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School will meet for the playoff title on Friday at Burlingame High at 7 p.m.
Sacred Heart Prep (18-4) rolled into the championship match following a 17-2 romp over visiting Burlingame in the semifinals on Wednesday. SHP lost the regular-season title to Menlo last year, but rebounded to take the playoff crown.
This season the Gators made no mistake about which team was best during the regular season as they fashioned a 10-0 record. Sophomore Jack Crockett led the way against Burlingame with five goals and two assists with senior Will Kremer adding two goals and two assists. Kevin Tinsley finished with a pair of goals while Trevor Peay added two assists. SHP wound up with 11 players scoring.
Just down the street on Wednesday, Menlo School (11-9) advanced to the playoff finale with a 12-9 victory over visiting Menlo-Atherton. Menlo senior Mason Brady and junior Zeke Coxe each had a hat trick. Sophomore David Schmaiere scored and added three assists while senior Charlie Roth contributed two goals and Nick Frangione delivered two assists. Junior goalie Jack McNally recorded eight saves and Menlo dominated groundball pick-ups, 34-19.
Sacred Heart Prep handed visiting King's Academy a 9-5 loss on Wednesday, moving the Gators into the semifinals of the PL Tournament.
Sacred Heart Prep (12-15) will visit Carlmont, an 8-5 quarterfinal winner over Menlo School, on Thursday at 4 p.m. The winner will advance to Friday's championship game at Half Moon Bay High at 4 p.m.
The Gators were led offensive by Schaefer Kraemer and Nick O'Donnell, who combined for seven RBI. Kraemer finished with a season-high four with both getting a triple among their two hits.
Dominic Cacchione got the win in relief of Angelo Tonas, limiting the Knights to one hit and no runs over 3 2/3 innings.
In the SCVAL El Camino Division, host Gunn scored in the bottom of the seventh to pull off a 6-5 victory over Lynbrook. Charlie Racz had two hits for the Titans (5-8, 7-17) with teammate Marvin Li driving in three runs. Gunn closes its season Friday by hosting Monta Vista at 4 p.m.
Andy Zhou of Gunn fired an even-par 71 and tied for fourth, earning an individual berth into next Tuesday's CCS Championships.
Zhou will be joined in the section finals by John Foley of Pinewood, who shot a 2-over 73 and also advanced as an individual from Wednesday's CCS Regional II at Rancho Canada (West) in Carmel Valley.
The top four teams -- Bellarmine (366), Harker (374), Palma (376) and Pioneer (383) -- advanced to the CCS finals, as well, along with nine individuals not on those teams.
Menlo-Atherton shot 396 and finished seventh out of 11 teams. Jonathan Dicks shot 76 to lead the Bears, missing out on advancing by one stroke. Bryce Sevey shot 77 for M-A with Bill Kirkpatrick, Leo Tuchman and Maxwell Heller adding matching 81s.