The Sacred Heart Prep boys basketball team has been putting its best foot forward early and often since its last loss almost a month ago. Wednesday's 74-35 victory over host Pinewood was no different.
The Gators (20-3, 12-1) shot to a 26-9 advantage in the first quarter and then blasted even further away with a 23-8 second-quarter run.
Pinewood (11-11, 3-9) is not alone in watching SHP soar into orbit seemingly before the countdown has begun. Over their past 10 games, all victories, the Gators are averaging 21.8 points in the first quarter and allowing 10.2.
On two other occasions, Sacred Heart Prep has gone on to score 29 points in the second quarter. This is what happens when you have more than one shooter suddenly firing on all cylinders.
Against Pinewood, both Jai Deshpande and Charlie Selna each scored 17 points and Everett Banks added 10, all three of them beating their season average.
Austin Farhoudi and Gabriel Santos each scored eight points to lead Pinewood, which travels to Priory for a 6:30 p.m. game Thursday.
Priory (16-6, 9-3) defeated Harker 63-28 on Tuesday as Ashten Axe and David Ajanaku-Makun each scored 13 points.
The Gators have eight players who have reached double figures in scoring in more than one game this season. That's quite a luxury. So when Aidan Braccia (seven points) cools off after setting a blistering scoring pace last week, there's no reason to worry. His teammates have his back.
Besides, Braccia is not a one-dimensional player. He's the team leader in assists and is third in rebounding behind Selna (9.0) and Emmer Nichols (7.4).
On a team with seven seniors, sophomores Braccia, Nichols and Kyle Cadigal are holding their own.
The Gators get the rest of the week off from competition, returning to host Priory at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Menlo (18-4, 11-1) plays a 6:30 p.m. game at Harker on Friday and goes to Crystal Springs Uplands for the season finale Tuesday.
Menlo-Atherton survived a scare from Burlingame, beating its visitors 46-44 Wednesday to clinch the outright Peninsula Athletic League South Division title with one game remaining: at Woodside, 7:45 p.m., on Friday.
M-A recorded its second-lowest (43 in a loss to Loyola) offensive output of the season but still managed to win its 16th straight.
Woodside (15-8, 5-6) beat visiting Hillsdale 55-48 as Calvin Kapral scored 13 points and had a team-high nine rebounds. Timmy Yee added 11 points. Luke Buddie added nine points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Catharine Chai scored 22 points, including sinking four 3-pointers, but short-handed Menlo-Atherton fell to host Burlingame 48-45 in a PAL South Division contest.
Chai gave the Bears (13-10, 8-3) a 43-41 lead midway through the fourth quarter but Burlingame was able to mount an attack, hitting a free throw with nine seconds remaining for the final margin of victory.
Linnea Lindblom added 10 points and Malia Latu, Nicolette Yeh and Rachel Benedick accounted for the 13 points.
M-A travels to play Woodside at 6:15 p.m. Friday in the regular-season finale. The Bears need to win to hold onto second place in league play. Aragon clinched the regular-season title.