Pinewood, M-A girls take home basketball tournament titles


Blowouts are often the result when the Pinewood girls basketball team gets it going and starts hitting its 3-pointers.

That was the case Friday night and against a most unlikely opponent.

Brianna Claros/Photo by Glenn Reeves
Pinewood beat St. Francis, 73-48, in the championship game of the Joe Schram Holiday Basketball Classic at St. Francis.

Palo Alto defeated North Salinas, 45-30, in the third-place game.

Menlo-Atherton won the Competitive Bracket 2 of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, beating Sacred Heart Prep, 52-30.

Menlo School (7-3) fell, 63-39, to Granada Hills Charter (12-1) in the title game of the Competitive Bracket 1.

The Lancers aren’t exactly chopped liver. They came into the game 9-1, outscoring their first 10 opponents this season by an average of 27 points per game. They had won their first two games in the tournament 69-21 over Westmont and 77-49 over North Salinas.

But Pinewood (10-2), which struggled the night before in a 42-40 semifinal win over Palo Alto, was on fire right from the start.

The Panthers scored 22 points in the first quarter and 23 in the second in opening a 45-23 lead at halftime. They knocked down eight 3-pointers in the first half, 11 for the game.

“When we play like that, not too many teams can beat us,’’ Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler said.

Senior point guard Brianna Claros scored 24 points to lead the way.

“Last night we got off to a real slow start,’’ Claros said. “This game we got the tempo going early and that lasted for the rest of the game.’’

Sophomore frontcourt standout Klara Astrom scored 17 points and sophomore sharpshooter Hannah Jump, the tournament MVP, scored 13.

Pinewood shot near 50 percent the entire game.

“When we shoot like that, that’s how good we can be,’’ Scheppler said.

Pinewood, which advanced to the Northern California Open Division finals last season, has a 60-point win over Westmoor and a 50-point win over Gunn already this season to go along with Friday’s win at St. Francis.

And then there are nights like Thursday when the team is far less proficient offensively.

“We’re a young team,’’ Scheppler said, explaining his team’s inconsistency. “We have five sophomores in our rotation. We really miss the shooting of Erin Poindexter-McHan (out for the season with a knee injury) and the leadership of Mikaela Topper (out with a sprained ankle). She’s our glue.’’

Sacred Heart Prep scored the first two points of its game against the Bears, who then took the lead and never trailed again.

Senior Megan Sparrow spearheaded an aggressive defense by limiting Gators' freshman guard and leading scorer Charlotte Levinson to three points in the first half and eight for the game,. Sparrow scored 10 points.

Sacred Heart Prep rallied to within 21-17 by halftime but was then outscored, 14-3, in the third quarter.

The Gators (7-2) host M-A 7:30 p.m. Thursday

M-A junior forward Greer Hoyem finished with 16 points and was named Tournament MVP. She averaged 22.7 points over the three games.

Junior guard Carly McLanahan, who had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, was also named to the all-tournament team. Senior point guard Ilana Baer had three points and played relentless defense and was named to the all-tournament team.

Ila Lane recorded her fourth double-double in the past five games and Priory beat Narbonne, 49-34, to earn the consolation championship of the West Coast Jamboree Gold Division at Los Positas on Friday night.

Lane had 20 points and 10 rebounds while Tatiana Reese added 12 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Panthers (8-4), who open WBAL play against Menlo School on Jan. 10.

Boys' basketball

Sacred Heart Prep ended a five-game losing streak Friday, beating Bella Vista, 53-52, to earn a seventh-place finish at the San Diego Surf and Slam.

Eric DeBrine scored 15 points, Tevin Panchal added 11 and Kyle Stalder had 10 for the Gators (2-6), who open West Bay Athletic League play Tuesday at Harker at 6:30 p.m.

Boys' soccer

Menlo beat Harbor, 2-0, on Friday to complete a two-game sweep of its Santa Cruz trip.

In a first half that coach Marc Kerrest called the Knights' best 40 minutes of the season, the Knights scored in the 31st minute.

Junior captain David Quezada collected the ball deep after a corner and served a great ball to the back post for senior captain Daniel Hausen who clinically slotted it into the side netting.

In the second half, senior Jack Swisher alertly played a quick throw to junior captain Alistair Shaw, who took the ball to goal and finished with a fierce volley into the top corner.

Despite losing 10 seniors, this year's team is quickly finding its stride.

"The boys have worked hard all preseason and really bought into the team message the coaches are preaching. They came through a daunting preseason schedule admirably, had a great trip to Santa Cruz and came home with two wins," Kerrest said.

Seniors Nolan Peterson and Charlie Lambert helped the Knights keep their second clean sheet of the season and sophomore Ben Lasky had a standout performance up front for the Knights in the win.

The Knights (4-1-1) open West Bay Athletic League play on Wednesday at Crystal Springs Uplands.

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