This was a game of back and forth with a certain amount of symmetry.
Priory dominated the first and third quarters, Menlo did the same in the second and fourth quarters. Priory led by 13 after one quarter and by 13 again after three quarters. Menlo cut its deficit to two at halftime and to two again in the final seconds before ultimately falling 63-59 in a West Bay Athletic League girls basketball game Wednesday at Priory.
Priory (1-1), which had only six players suited up, never trailed and managed to survive the Menlo runs at the conclusion of each half.
“When you have six girls it’s tough,’’ Priory coach Buck Matthews said. “They were gassed.’’
Menlo (1-1) is the kind of team capable of coming from behind with an up-tempo style, pressure defense and non-stop 3-point shooting. The Knights made a school-record 17 3-pointers in their season-opening 82-61 win over Half Moon Bay and connected on another 11 against Priory.
They were handicapped Thursday by the absence of standout post player Sharon Nejad, who missed the game due to an undisclosed reason.
“They had some size on us,’’ Menlo coach John Paye said. “The Warriors do it, but it’s tough to play small the whole game.’’
After Priory scored the first basket of the fourth quarter on a putback by Bineta Diatta to make the score 55-40, Menlo went on a 19-6 run to pull within 61-59 on a 3-pointer by Reagan Grady in the final minute. A Menlo player missed the front end of a one and one free throw with 7.2 seconds left and Priory’s Sunishka Kartik scored on a breakaway layup to provide the final margin.
Menlo got back into the game in large part due to a harassing defense that forced Priory into 17 turnovers.
But the Panthers, who stayed in a 2-3 zone the entire game, shot a much higher percentage throughout, especially in the first and third quarters when they were a combined 19 of 30 from the floor and outscored Menlo by a combined 24 points.
Priory got balanced scoring from Diatta (16 points), Pinewood transfer Valentina Saric (14), Aliyah Augmon (13) and Sydney Donovan (12). Augmon, a point guard heading to the University of New Mexico, also had a team-high 11 rebounds.
Yale-bound Menlo point guard Avery Lee led all scorers with 21 points. Grady, a sophomore, scored 12 points on four 3-pointers. Coco Layton knocked down three 3s and scored 11 points.
Pinewood 88, Sacred Heart Prep 17
Junior Emily Lee scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds as Pinewood opened its season with a lop-sided victory over visiting Sacred Heart Prep on Wednesday.
The Gators (1-1, 0-1) were missing two starters and fell behind early. Former SHP player Chance Bucher scored 16 points for Pinewood, including a 4-of-6 effort from 2-point range. Lee also hit four 3-pointers.
Gabrielle Harris shot 71 percent from the field and finished with 11 points for the Panthers, who travel to play The King’s Academy on Friday night.
Maia Garcia led Pinewood with nine rebounds and Annika Decker recorded a team-high six assists.