By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
The Sacred Heart Prep boys' basketball team wasted little time in overpowering a depleted Palo Alto squad, 66-48, in the first round of the Burlingame Lions Club tournament Wednesday.
The Vikings dressed seven players, as five others are still awaiting word with the rest of their football teammates on their likely berth in the state championship.
Will McConnell and Reed McConnell were more than enough to help the Gators (2-0) advance into Thursday's semifinal match against Riordan at 8 p.m. Palo Alto (1-1) meets Aragon in a consolation game earlier Thursday.
The sharpshooting senior McConnell twins combined for 37 points on 15-of-29 shooting (a .517 accuracy rate) from the field. The Gators shot .429 as a team.
The Gators' Zach Watterson was also pretty accurate, making five of his eight attempts for 10 points.
The Vikings had a difficult time solving Sacred Heart Prep's smothering, fullcourt pressure but they were willing to try all the same. Palo Alto turned the ball over 26 times, which the Gators capitalized on for 16 points.
Sacred Heart Prep took an 18-9 lead after the first quarter and doubled that lead by halftime.
The Vikings, under new head coach Adam Sax, managed to cut the lead to 55-45 midway through the fourth quarter before the Gators pulled away for good.
Max Schmarzo led Paly with 14 points and six rebounds. Alec Wong added 12 points and Israel Hakim had 11.
Ahjalee Harvey poured in a season-high 25 points to pace Eastside Prep (4-0) to a 66-25 romp over Oakland Tech in the opening round of the Paris Sisters Tournament at Piedmont High in Oakland on Wednedsday. Hashima Carothers grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 10 points for the Panthers.
At Los Altos Hills, Pinewood (2-0) made 15 three-points while routing San Mateo, 72-26 in the opening round of the Pinewood Classic. Jenny Hansen made four treys and finished with 16 points for the Panthers, who also got 16 points plus six rebounds from senior Hailie Eackles.
In another first-round game at the Pinewood Classic, Palo Alto (1-1) fell behind by nine points in the first quarter and never made up the deficit while dropping a 66-63 decision to Evergreen Valley. Paly senior Sydney Davis led the Vikings with 18 points, knotting the game at 61-all late in the fourth quarter. Shamelia Clay added 13 points for Paly, which will play San Mateo on Friday in a second-round consolation game at 5:30 p.m.
In Atherton, host Sacred Heart Prep (2-0) got 22 points from Melissa Holland and 15 from Helen Gannon in a 57-39 nonleague win over Hillsdale.
Sacred Heart Prep continued its perfect season with a 3-0 blanking of host Terra Nova on a rainy Wednesday evening in Pacifica. The Gators (4-0) got two penalty kicks, from Kyle Scherba and Brendan Spillane, with Joseph Bolous providing the eventual game-winner on an assist from Scherba. The SHP defense was solid again in recording its third shutout of the season.
Menlo-Atherton picked up a solid 2-0 nonleague victory over host Notre Dame-Belmont on a rainy Wednesday as Selin Kutlu scored both goals. Lindsay Keare assisted in the 48th minute and Zoe Pacalin assisted in the 57th minute as the Bears improved to 5-0-1.