Most of Gunn seniors had to rush off to a special event Friday night, which is why its Central Coast Section Division II game against visiting Westmont was moved up by two hours, and why they took it upon themselves to stack up all the chairs immediately following its 50-31 victory.
No post-game meeting, just a little maintenance. The Titans earned that by controlling their game from the outset, building a 31-15 halftime advantage and then taking their time in the second half.
The victory sends the ninth-seeded Titans (9-11) to Saturday's 7 p.m. match with host Aragon (5-5), seeded eighth.
"We're blessed to be here," Gunn senior Luke McFaul said. "We just want to take it as far as we can and do the best with what we have."
After making a run into last year's semifinal, the Titans were excited about their prospects this year. But the pandemic hit and things had a way of unraveling. A few players didn't make it back and no one could have anticipated the way the season played out.
Seniors make up the bulk of this team and none of them expected there would be a postseason.
"I hope we can make a run," McFaul said. "We had a rough patch but this game gave us confidence."
Gavin Kitch led Gunn with 14 points. Yotam Elazar added 12 points. Elliott Grant scored all six of his points in the deciding second quarter. Jack Hakeman scored all six of his points in the fourth quarter. McFaul, Aidan Chi and Sam Mulkey combined for another 14 points.
Gunn's game with Aragon highlights another full day of CCS basketball. Palo Alto hosts Carlmont at 5:30 p.m. and Menlo-Atherton entertains Los Gatos at 7 p.m. in Division I action.
The Woodside girls host Leigh at 7 p.m. in a Division II contest.
Riordan 77, Priory 60
Priory took its first foray into CCS Open Division play and it meant playing a West Catholic Athletic League team on its home court.
In normal years, the postseason would be played at a neutral site. The Panthers (14-2) made the most of their wildly successful season, regardless of the venue. In fact, getting the chance to play at a WCAL school is like playing two postseason games for the visitors.
Second-seeded Riordan (13-3) finished second in its division of the WCAL, its lone loss at Serra. The Crusaders beat Half Moon Bay by 24 points. Until Friday night, HMB was the only team to beat Priory.
Priory, coming off its emotional last-second victory over Sacred Heart Prep that settled things in the West Bay Athletic League, earned this recognition and made a game of it through the first quarter. Riordan went on a 20-7 run in the second quarter and Priory was forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.
Priory guard Tayo Sobomehin followed his career night with another big game, scoring 16 points. Ashton Axe matched him on the strength of four 3-pointers. Sobomehin, Axe and Rostand Olama Abanda, who averaged 10.7 points a game while always getting the toughest defensive assignment, all return.
Seniors Zach Zafran and David Ajanaku-Makun, who combined for another 15 points, will be taking their combined 23.8 scoring average with them but more importantly they helped create a culture of success at the school.
Priory coach David Moseley, who played in the limelight at Stanford during his college days, set a goal of turning the program around and making it one of the premiere squads in the area. He came through this season.