At one point in the season, the Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep boys' basketball teams were both 4-7. Menlo reached that low point after losing to Harker to open the West Bay Athletic League season. Sacred Heart Prep dropped to 4-7 after losing to Menlo to open its league season.
Since then, things have gone considerably better for both squads as each school has fashioned a seven-game win streak.
The Knights and Gators are 11-7 entering games Tuesday night -- Menlo at Priory and SHP at King's Academy, both at 6:30 p.m.
Should both survive, the WBAL co-leaders will meet Friday night on the Gators' floor with sole possession of first place at stake. Tip-off will be 7:30 p.m.
There had been a three-way tie for first until Saturday. That's when host Menlo made it a two-team affair by knocking Harker from a share of the top spot with a 67-54 victory as the Knights avenged their only WBAL loss of the season.
Once again, Menlo got big scoring contributions from junior Jack Heneghan (22 points), Ryan Young (21 points) and senior guard Bobby Roth (18 points). The Knights went 3-0 last week while averaging just over 70 points a game. Heneghan scored 62 points in the three wins while Roth added 59.
Sacred Heart Prep, meanwhile, also went 3-0 last week -- topped by a 52-39 win over visiting Priory on Saturday. The Gators held the visitors to just two points in the first quarter and forged a 28-13 halftime lead. Ian Bennett led SHP with 11 points with fellow senior Ricky Galliani contributing 10.
Andy Iskopehi paced Priory (3-5, 6-9) with 14 points. SHP outscored the Panthers at the free-throw line, 18-4.
The King's Academy at Pinewood game was not reported.
Menlo School team lost an opportunity to temporarily take over sole possession of first place in the WBAL following a 1-1 deadlock at Crystal Springs on Saturday.
The Knights (6-1-1, 9-3-2) could have moved ahead of Sacred Heart Prep (6-0-1, 9-2-2), which played to a scoreless tie with King's Academy on Friday. Instead, the teams both have 19 points, even though the Gators have played one fewer match.
Menlo dominated play in the opening period and took the lead in the 22nd minute thanks to fierce strike from 20 yards out by junior Matt Myers. Menlo had a few other chances but was unable to add to its tally in the first half.
The second half continued in similar fashion as Menlo controlled possession in midfield with its quick passing and created several more chances. The Knights seemed to score a second goal when senior Ryan Karle served a dangerous cross to the back post that fellow senior Julian Viret finished with a diving header, only for the officials to nullify the goal for offsides.
A few minutes later, the officials gave the Gryphons a questionable penalty call for a handball. Menlo senior captain Tim Costa was up to the task as usual, diving to his right to make a wonderful save. Unfortunately for Menlo, the officials awarded another penalty kick a few minutes later, which Costa was unable to keep out of the net.
Priory bounced back from a loss to first-place Menlo on Thursday with a 4-0 win over host Crystal Springs on Saturday. The Panthers improved to 2-2-3 in league (3-4-5 overall).
In Sunnyvale, Castilleja and host King's Academy played to a 1-1 deadlock.
Palo Alto's Gerhard Hohbach, Andrew Frick and Erik Anderson were the only local placers at the 49th annual Overfelt Classic on Saturday in San Jose. Hohbach was fifth at 160 pounds, Frick was sixth at 220 pounds and Anderson was the consolation champ at 170.
Palo Alto finished 24th out of 41 teams with only four wrestlers entered. Gilroy (second) and Serra (fourth) were the top finishing teams from the Central Coast Section.
The Vikings host second-place Monta Vista in a SCVAL De Anza Division dual match on Tuesday night and then Fremont on Thursday, both at 5:30 p.m. Gunn (4-0) will put its first-place mark on the line Thursday against visiting Wilcox.