With freshman Andrew Buchanan winning individual honors, the Menlo golf team advanced to a Central Coast Section regional tournament next week by winning the West Bay Athletic League championship on Monday at Menlo Country Club.
The Knights shot a team score of 391 and will join regular-season champion Sacred Heart Prep at the CCS regional in Carmel Valley. The Gators shot 393 on Monday.
Buchanan finished his round tied with Menlo junior Patrick Grimes and Priory senior Rocky Chan. All shot 1-over-par 71s. The three then competed in a playoff, with Buchanan winning it with a birdie on the second extra hole.
Chan qualified for CCS as an individual and will be joined by Maverick Nealy and James Feng of Harker.
Brett Van Zanten led Sacred Heart Prep with a 74, tying with McNealy for fourth overall. Dalan Refioglu of SHP shot 77, teammate Andrew Vetter had a 79 as did Kevin Knox. Anthony Tran wrapped up the Gators' scoring with an 84.
In addition to Buchanan and Grimes, Menlo junior Bobby Pender shot 77, Jackson Dean had an 83 and M.J. Cootsona had an uncharacteristic 89.
Sacred Heart Prep will not be taking a lot of momentum into Wednesday's showdown for first place in the WBAL against host Menlo.
Instead, the Gators (6-0, 11-10-1) will need to find a way of bouncing back from an 11-10 nonleague loss to Evergreen Valley on Monday night at San Jose Municipal Stadium.
In what SHP coach Gregg Franceschi called "an ugly game" as both teams combined for seven errors. The Gators trailed by 9-3 after three innings before rallying for six runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to take a 10-9 lead. SHP, however, gave up two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Three SHP pitchers gave up four extra-base hits.
Charlie Moran, Bryan Kohrs and Mike Covell all had two hits for the Gators with Moran and Ian Lynch driving in a pair.
Wednesday's game at Menlo (5-1, 16-6) is crucial for both teams. A victory by SHP will give the Gators a two-game lead with three to play, while a win by the Knights will deadlock the standings and likely force a co-championship.
Getting another strong performance from freshman pitcher Claire Klausner, Gunn pulled away for a 7-1 nonleague victory over visiting Sequoia on Monday. Klausner tossed a two-hitter with eight strikeouts and no earned runs.
Carly Fisher contributed a pair of doubles while Klausner added two singles and two walks. Claire Collins ripped a triple in the third inning to drive in Laura Tao, then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Dana Voll as Gunn (14-9) scored three times in the inning.