In Central Coast Section Division IV action Thursday, No. 3 Menlo (19-7) won the rubber match with The King’s Academy, 61-45, to reach Saturday’s 3 p.m. championship game at No. 1 Palma (20-4), which defeated No. 5 San Lorenzo Valley 57-53 in the other semifinal.
Menlo split its two regular-season games with TKA, each winning by three points.
"It was a good team win," said Menlo junior Lucas Vogel, who had a team-high 13 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. "I think what set us apart was our 1-3-1 zone, and I think it caught them a little off guard. We also had the team mentality going in: we knew what we had to do and it was a collective effort."
Sophomore Sam Reznik added 12 points and three assists while senior Daniel Solomon had 11 points and three steals.
Menlo led 17-12 after the first quarter, but a 19-4 run in the second set the tone for the remainder of the game and gave Menlo a 20-point halftime lead.
"It was a great playoff atmosphere," Vogel added. "We kept our composure, and the guys showed a lot of poise."
Top-seeded Priory opened the fourth quarter with a 16-2 run to break open a close contest en route to a 55-41 victory over Pinewood in a Central Coast Section Division V semifinal game Thursday night.
Priory (15-11), which played in last season’s Open Division for the first time in school history, plays for the division championship Saturday at home (following the girls game at 5 p.m.) against No. 2 Stevenson (20-6), a 49-45 winner over No. 3 Oakwood (25-2).
Ryder Bush scored on a driving layup in the final 30 seconds of the third quarter to give Priory a 32-31 edge into the final period.
Clint Smith hit a 3-pointer with 2:19 remaining to play, giving Priory a healthy 48-33 advantage.
Pinewood’s Jaden Norwood hit a jumper with 1:12 left to snap the streak. Norwood had a monster game, scoring 15 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking seven shots.
Junior Tayo Sobomehin came up big for Priory. He scored a team-high 14 points and added four assists and four rebounds.
Senior Oliver Conn was another inspired player for Priory, collecting 12 points (including 8-of-10 from the foul line) and nine rebounds. Steve Emeneke added a team-high 11 rebounds.
Priory opened the game with a 10-2 run and led 21-16 at halftime.
Norwood hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 24 two minutes into the second half. There were four lead changes over the final four minutes of the third quarter.
In Division I, No. 3 Menlo-Atherton beat No. 2 Mountain View 46-34 and will travel to play at No. 4 Alvarez on Saturday at 5 p.m. for the title.
Ryan Anderson scored eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bears. Johno Price added 10 points.
After six lead changes and four tie scores it was 29-29 early in the fourth quarter. Matt MacLeod hit a jumper that sparked a 12-0 run and M-A took control.
Doug Adams secured the win by hitting his free throws down the stretch. He scored six points, all from the foul line.
Top-seeded Priory defeated Pacific Bay Christian 63-18 to advance into Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division V championship.
Priory (13-9) led by 30 after a Carmela Fontes layup with 1:23 remaining to play in the second quarter. Fontes scored 13 points and had six rebounds.
Shomira Bidaye scored 14 points and had seven rebounds for Priory, which held PBC to a single point the first 7:30 of the fourth quarter. The Eagles scored the final three points of the contest.
Priory, which has won eight of its past nine games, will be playing for its fifth overall CCS title, all within the past six years. The Panthers reached the Open Division semifinals last season.
No. 3 Crystal Springs Uplands (10-10) upset No. 2 Summit Shasta 50-46 in the other semifinal and will travel to Priory for Saturday’s 5 p.m. tipoff.
Summit Shasta (16-3) entered the game on a 15-game winning streak and was undefeated at home until Thursday. The Black Bears plastered Nueva 96-14 in the quarterfinals.
Priory beat the Gryphons twice during the West Bay Athletic League season, by 10 and, 10 days ago, by 28.
As far as Priory coach Buck Matthews is concerned, it’s a whole new season and what occurred in the regular season has no bearing on the postseason.
“It’s win or go home and you have to play each game like it’s the last,” he said. “We are a totally different team since December; more mature and playing better at the right time.”
Although the Panthers have already clinched a spot in the NorCal playoffs regardless of Saturday’s outcome, there’s no looking ahead.
“We are only focused on the next game, which is the CCS final,” Matthews said. “After the CCS final, we will start preparing for Norcals after seeding. We are enjoying the moments and taking it day by day.”
==In Division IV, ==Jazlin Chen recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Menlo beat Scotts Valley, 54-35, to earn a spot in Saturday’s championship game.
No. 1 Menlo (11-8) hosts No. 3 Harker (24-1) at 7 p.m. in a matchup of WBAL teams. Harker won the Skyline Division. Its only loss was to Menlo.
Against Scotts Valley, the Knights jumped out to a 20-5 lead and never looked back. Senior Shannon Li added 12 points and freshman Angelica Chou grabbed eight rebounds.
"We installed a zone to isolate players on the court earlier this season, and that was our focus tonight," Chen said "It's gone really well. We really had a good flow with our defense and I think you could see that in tonight's game."
In Division I, No. 5 Los Altos (17-8) fell at No. 1 Los Gatos, 47-35. Macy Watson led the Eagles with 11 points. Tessa Player added seven.
Tara Davari hit consecutive shots midway through the third quarter to bring Los Altos within 22-19 but Los Gatos went on a 14-2 run to pull ahead 36-21 after three quarters.