Returning starter Norton stars in new M-A basketball reality


With four starters having graduated off last season’s team that advanced to the Northern California Division I finals, it’s an all new reality for the Menlo-Atherton boys basketball team.

Eric Norton, the one returning starter, is in a new role this season as a leader and the voice of experience. The Peninsula Athletic League South Division MVP as a junior, Norton scored 21 points Wednesday to lead the Bears to a 58-39 win over Sacred Heart Prep.

Eric Norton
“This is a young team,’’ Norton said. “I’m trying to show these guys how varsity is. My role in this game was to get the team up-tempo and more aggressive. We showed that we have more depth and more speed.’’

Sacred Heart Prep had a 17-16 lead in the second quarter when M-A (4-3) went on a 10-0 run to close the half with a 26-17 lead. Norton started the run by making two free throws.

Will Perrone and Will Beasley scored and then Norton closed out the run with a fastbreak basket and another pair of free throws.

The closest the Gators got in the second half was within seven points at 35-28.

“We have a new team,’’ M-A coach Mike Molieri said. “We’re young. That was a great run last year. Now we’re just starting to get better each game. We played more aggressively in the second half.’’

Tevin Panchal was a one-man gang for Sacred Heart Prep. He scored 25 points, going 8-of-8 at the foul line and making three 3-pointers.

“You can’t be that way,’’ SHP coach Tony Martinelli said. “When we’ve been good in the past we had all five guys rolling.’’

Eric DeBrine, a 6-foot-6 junior, went into the game averaging 16.8 points and 8.0 rebounds. M-A, with Raymond Fowler doing the bulk of the defensive work, limited him to seven points.

“They have two guys who can score,’’ Molieri said. “Our goal was to take away one of them. We didn’t think the other guy was going to score 40.’’

Sacred Heart Prep dropped to 1-4 with the loss.

“I told the guys in the locker room that it’s OK to say we’re not very good right now,’’ Martinelli said. “But it’s not all right to accept it. There are some guys in their with good character and they are going to work to get better.’’

Prior to the game, SHP athletic director Frank Rodriguez addressed the crowd and asked for a moment of silence for Aisea Mataele, a player in the Menlo-Atherton football and basketball programs who died this week after suffering a severe bacterial infection.

Rodriguez made the point that Mataele’s passing was a loss for the community, not just for Menlo-Atherton.

Menlo vs. Woodside

Before departing for Orange County, the Knights picked up a dominating, 57-38, nonleague victory over Woodside at home Wednesday.

Junior Riley Woodson controlled the boards, pulling down 17 rebounds and added a game-high 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Joe Foley, a fellow junior, contributed 14 points and five rebounds for Menlo (1-2), which begins play in the Orange Holiday Classic on Monday against Esperanza (7-1) at Hope International University in Fullerton.

Eight players scored for the Knights, who led 33-15 at the half.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 4,040 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,189 views

Premarital and Couples: "You're Not Listening to Me!" may mean "I don't feel heard."
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,054 views

All those things our city does – and doesn’t -- do
By Diana Diamond | 6 comments | 993 views

Migraines and motherhood
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 589 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.