Dragons open with two wins for the first time in eight years | News | Palo Alto Online |


Dragons open with two wins for the first time in eight years

Menlo School opens its boys soccer season with a win over Woodside

Kehillah freshman Jonjon Antebi (23) gets ready to battle Mid-Peninsula junior Taylor Young.

Junior Sebastian Strachan scored 28 points, all in the first three quarters, and the Mid-Peninsula boys' basketball team downed host Kehillah Jewish 65-35 in a nonleague contest at the OFJCC Gym in Palo Alto on Monday, signaling a change in fortunes for the Dragons.

Mid-Peninsula is 2-0 for the first time in eight years and the Dragons are playing without last year's leading scorer and have just three seniors on the team.

Sebastian Strachan
Seniors Ryan Shee and Dawson Kinnamon joined Strachan and two other juniors in the starting lineup as the Dragons caught fire and throttled the Rams, who were playing their season opener, taking a 53-17 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Mid-Pen snapped a five-game losing streak to the Rams and won its first two games for the first time since opening the 2011-12 season with seven straight wins under coach Curtis Haggins, a former standout at Menlo-Atherton, Woodside, Canada College and Western Illinois.

The Dragons hope to continue their success Tuesday with a home game against Latino College Prep at 5:30 p.m.

Kehillah, which hosts Latino Prep at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, lost five seniors to graduation and is rebuilding around seniors like Ben Lipman (12 points against the Dragons), Oren Kohavi and Cameron Golub.

There's liable to be plenty of growing pains with 10 freshmen listed on the roster, including Josh Lipman, who led the team with 13 points.

For now, Mid-Peninsula appears to be a team intent on erasing the memory of last year's five-win season, which didn't win its second game until the 11th contest of the season.

Shee netted 14 points, including four 3-pointers, Kinnamon added 11 and Andries Castellano had 10.

Girls basketball

Defending state Division II champion Menlo opened its season with a 69-34 victory over visiting Cosumnes Oaks on Monday in a nonleague game.

The Wolfpack finished 25-8 a year ago, reaching the Northern California championship game. They lost five seniors from that team, including the Delta League Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, the Knights returned their full roster. It's still on the young side, with three seniors along with four sophomores and six juniors.

Sophomore Sharon Nejad led a balanced attack with 18 points. Junior Coco Layton had 14, Valentina Ross added 10 and juniors Avery Lee and Georgia Paye each scored nine points. Paye hit three 3-pointers.

Menlo travels to play Valley Christian in San Jose at 7 p.m. Monday. The Warriors lost in the first round of the NorCal championships last season.

In another nonleague contest, sophomore Yaara Bar and senior Naomi Spritzer combined to score 19 points in Kehillah's 35-15 season-opening win over Mid-Peninsula, which was led by freshman Rachel Rosenblum with seven points. Rosenblum and freshman Julia Oram each hit a 3-pointer.

The Dragons (0-2) host Latino College Prep at 4 p.m. Tuesday while the Rams (1-0) host the Golden Eagles at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Boys soccer

Senior Aaron Morgan recorded a hat trick and an assist and Menlo opened its season with a 5-1 nonleague win over visiting Woodside on Monday.

Junior captain Christian Corcoran added a goal and two assists, junior Tor Micaelian had a goal and sophomore Daniel Louie an assist.

Grant Boyd scored following a corner kick from Adrian Ruiz, for the Wildcats (1-2), who host Oceana in their home opener at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Woodside coach Darrell Ringman also noted the consistently high level of play from junior Nicholas Asborn.

"We haven't had a lot of time to prepare but the boys played with great intensity, competed and made each other better," Menlo coach Marc Kerrest said. "We have a talented group of returning players who are working hard, boding well for the season. Friday will be a difficult test against a very strong Burlingame team who has played in the Open Division the last few years."

The Knights play Friday on the road against defending PAL champion Burlingame.

In another nonleague match, Gunn and Aragon played to a 1-1 tie. The Titans (1-0-1) travel to Half Moon Bay for a 6 p.m. contest on Wednesday.

— Rick Eymer/Palo Alto Sports Online

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