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January 28, 2005

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, January 28, 2005

Gunn, Paly boys still awaiting soccer showdown Gunn, Paly boys still awaiting soccer showdown (January 28, 2005)

Division leaders hope to clash for first time today with first place on the line and more rainy weather expected

by Keith Peters

The preliminaries are over and done with in the SCVAL De Anza Division boys' soccer race. It's time for the main event. Now, only if the weather would cooperate.

Gunn (7-0-1, 16-1-2) and Palo Alto (6-1, 10-3-2) continue to dominate in the division and have removed everyone else from the championship race. That title, however, is still very much up for grabs since the Titans and Vikings have yet to play each other.

Their first scheduled meeting on January 7 was rained out and rescheduled for Feb. 7 at Palo Alto. Today's scheduled match at Gunn could be rained out, as well. Thus, the question still remains is to which team will emerge as the league champ.

Palo Alto won last season's title with a 10-2 record. Should the Vikings finish that way again, it'll be only good enough for second place. Paly needs a victory over Gunn today, or whenever the teams meet for the first time. The Titans have 22 points and the Vikings have 18. Mountain View is a distant third with 13.

Reaching the Central Coast Section playoffs is a given for Gunn and Paly, but that's not what's important right now. The two scheduled showdowns between the rivals should bring a postseason-type atmosphere.

Both teams kept on their collision course with close victories Wednesday. Gunn held off host Mountain View, 1-0, on a goal by sophomore Sam Zipperstein while Palo Alto got two first-half goals from senior Manny Barragan in a 2-1 victory over visiting Santa Clara.

Zipperstein's recent offensive outbursts have just added fuel to the fire for already potent Gunn attack. He scored four goals last Friday in a 6-0 victory over Fremont, avenging the only blemish on the Titans' league record.

While Sam was sparking the offense, brother Max was among defensive standouts that helped record the team's 12th shutout of the season. Gunn has allowed nine goals in 18 matches, only two in league play. Senior keeper Brian Weinstein has been the defensive anchor.

Paly also has been playing some solid defense, sparked by seniors Cam Taylor, Ben Flamm and David White - all of whom drew praise from Vikings' coach Don Briggs following Wednesday's win over Santa Clara.

Briggs also liked the effort from Barragan, whose aggressive play (especially in the first half) was too much for the Bruins' defense.

In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton (2-6-2, 3-9-3) got two goals from Charley Beavis in a 2-0 win over visiting El Camino while Menlo (4-5-1, 8-5-3) got goals from Chris Huey (from Ryan Cavan) and Kevin Brege (from Scott Harris) in a 2-0 blanking of visiting Carlmont.

The Bears, however, are out of the postseason picture while the Knights are five points behind third-place Woodside in the battle for the last automatic CCS berth.
Girls soccer

The showdown for first place in the De Anza Division between Los Gatos (5-0-3) and Palo Alto (5-0-1, 10-1-4) was postponed until Monday after a wet field cancelled Wednesday's match at Los Gatos between the contenders.

The Vikings need a victory to regain the top spot while a loss could open the door for third-place Mountain View (3-2-4) to make a run at overtaking Paly. The Spartans helped themselves by beating host Gunn on Wednesday, 2-0. The Titans (2-5-1, 4-7-3) tied Homestead on Monday in a makeup match on a goal by Katja Davis (assisted by Kate Kosco).

In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton (4-5-1, 9-7-2) kept its CCS hopes alive despite a 1-1 deadlock with visiting Menlo (3-4-3, 7-5-4). The Bears, who led in the first half on a goal by Katherine Daiss, remained in fourth place, three points behind third-place Aragon in the chase for the final automatic playoff berth prior to Thursday's match at second-place Burlingame. M-A finishes up against three second-division teams and can't control its postseason destiny.

Menlo's Ariel Rogers provided the Knights with their tie, taking a corner kick off the foot of Kate Bentley and scoring in the second half.

Boys basketball

Eastside Prep (6-0, 16-6), which is expected to defeat visiting Downtown College Prep tonight at 7 p.m., likely will put its streak of 92 consecutive victories in Christian Private Schools Athletic League play on the line Tuesday against visiting Mid-Peninsula at 7 p.m. The Panthers got 26 points from sophomore Marquis Pickrom on Monday in a 65-26 romp over host San Francisco Christian.

Mid-Peninsula, which hosts Bridgemont today, is expected to survive that game and bring an 8-0 CPSAL mark into the showdown against Eastside Prep. The Dragons remained unbeaten in league play Tuesday with a 50-46 victory over host Downtown College Prep.

The Dragons accomplished that without starters Reggie Demery, Walter Washington and Bruce Grady. All were benched by coach Curtis Haggins after they missed practice Monday.

"We are playing OK right now," Haggins said, "but I had to make a statement . . . depending on their attitudes in our next two practices, they may sit Friday. It's on them."

Without that trio, Mid-Pen has little chance against Eastside Prep. With them, Tuesday's game should be an interesting one - especially since the Dragons' newest standout is sophomore Jamar Williams. He's the younger brother of former Eastside Prep standout Jeremiah Williams, currently playing at USF.

Jamar Williams scored 18 points against Downtown College Prep and has been dunking in games, despite standing only 5-foot-8.

"His talents are amazing," Haggins said. "He has been dunking in games on breakaways. If he continues to mature and develop as a student and player, he has a really bright future ahead of him."

Eastside Prep, meanwhile, has been strengthened by the return of 5-10 senior Derrick Haynie, who sat out the first semester in order to concentrate on his studies and get his college applications squared away. He told coach Chris Bischof that he'd like to return to the team once his academic pursuits were taken care of and Bischof agreed. In Haynie's second game back, he scored 25 points in a nonleague win over Santa Clara last Saturday.

"Having his senior leadership and more size will certainly help us," Bischof said.

In the De Anza Division, first-place Palo Alto (5-0, 18-1) visits Los Gatos tonight and then plays host to second-place Fremont (5-1) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in a game whose outcome could go a long way in determing the division champion.

Gunn (2-4, 9-10) had a chance to climb back in the race and help Paly, but dropped a 64-62 decision to host Milpitas (4-2) despite 29 points from Peter Jordan and 17 from fellow sophomore David Riley.

In the Private Schools Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep (9-0, 13-5) won its 54th straight league game with a 52-45 win over visiting Redwood Christian on Tuesday. Thomas Donahue led the Gators with 15 points while scoring leader Pat Coffey bounced back from having no field goals in the opening 16 minutes to finish with 14.

In the PAL North Division, Menlo (6-2, 12-4) moved back into sole possession of first place following a 50-42 win over host Jefferson as Blake Schultz scored 18 points. The Knights received some help when Oceana knocked off El Camino, 71-55, forcing a three-way tie for second place between Oceana, El Camino and Terra Nova.

In the PAL South Division, M-A lost scoring leader Dan Trautman to a sprained ankle in the opening minutes but was able to hold on for a 54-43 win over visiting Hillsdale as Gorjan Hrustanovic scored 15 points and Chris Dallmar added 12. The third-place Bears, however, will be in trouble if Trautman misses tonight's game at third-place Sequoia (6-2) Tuesday's game at first-place Burlingame.

Girls basketball

Liz Altmaier's 18 points and 15 from Daniela Roark paced Pinewood (5-0, 13-5) to a 70-29 romp over King's Academy, keeping the Panthers atop the PSAL standings.

In the PAL North Division, Menlo (5-3, 10-8) moved into second place with a 67-42 win over last-place Jefferson as Konstance Kirkendoll tallied 14 points and Anna Wipfler added 13.

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