The Gunn and Menlo-Atherton wrestling teams both pinned down league dual-match titles with impressive victories on Thursday night.
Gunn clinched its first title in six years as the Titans defeated visiting Fremont, 36-33, in a SCVAL El Camino Division dual match. Both teams came into the showdown with 4-0 records.
While each squad won seven matches, Gunn pulled ahead on the basis of pins, major decisions and technical falls. Gunn senior Stefan Weidemann, ranked No. 1 in the Central Coast Section at 152 pounds and No. 4 in the state, improved to 17-0 with a technical fall.
Although the Titans still have one dual remaining next Thursday, it's against a small Harker squad that only fields nine of the 14 weight divisions, so Thursday's duel with Fremont pretty much decided the championship.
Menlo-Atherton wrapped up the PAL Ocean Division dual-match championship with a 41-30 victory over host Mills. The Bears improved to 7-0 in league (8-1 overall) and captured the division crown for the second straight year with an unblemished record.
Winners for M-A included freshman Anthony Andrighetto (103), junior Andre Delagnes (119), junior Dino Anjrighetto (125), junior Charles Washington (130), senior Nikhil Viswanathan (145), senior Koji Kameda (152), freshman Josh Middel (160), and junior Daniel Fernandez (171). Kameda had the fastest pin in just 18 seconds of the first round.
Palo Alto wrapped up second place in the SCVAL De Anza Division by pinning down a 48-27 wrestling victory over visiting Homestead on Thursday night. The Vikings (5-1) used six pins to help secure the triumph.
With Brandon Willhite pouring in 30 points, Priory posted a solid 61-57 victory over visiting Harker in West Bay Athletic League action Thursday night. The Panthers (2-8, 9-10) also got 19 points and nine rebounds from Gabor Somogyi while Brett Bader, Brian Nguyen and Kellan Draeger provided solid muscle inside and hard- nosed defense.
Michael Nimer and Cory Cheung played well from the perimeter, while Andy Dolezalek and Douglas Galdamez added shut-down defense as Priory limited Harker to 27 points through the first three quarters and knocked the visitors out of the league race.
Castilleja gave first-place Sacred Heart Prep all it could handle before sophomore Kendall Jager scored in the second half to lift host SHP to a 1-0 victory in West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) action Thursday.
Sacred Heart improved to 6-0-1 in league (10-4-3 overall) and holds a four-point lead over Priory with only three matches remaining. The Gators can win their third-straight WBAL title by capturing two of their next three matches, no matter what Priory does. Castilleja, meanwhile, fell to 1-5-1 in league (6-9-1 overall).
In Portola Valley, Priory moved back into second place with a 2-0 victory over visiting Mercy-Burlingame on Thursday. Senior Lauren Barkmann scored in the 20th minute off a corner kick that bounced around in the box and touched at least four teammates before Barkmann finished. Two minutes later, freshman Kaitlyn Teoman received a though ball from Molly Simpson and, with a light touch, passed it by the keeper.
Priory's defensive duo of sisters Molly and Erin Simpson had standout performances while limiting Mercy to just three shots. The Panthers improved to 4-1-2 in league (9-3-4) overall but, with 14 points still trail first-place Sacred Heart Prep by five points with only three matches remaining. Priory needs to win its final games, including a date with visiting SHP next Thursday, and hope the Gators lose twice in order to claim the WBAL crown.
In Sunnyvale, Menlo School saw its hopes of a possible title all but disappear in a 1-1 deadlock with host King's Academy. The deadlock dropped the Knights to 3-0-4 in league (4-3-8 overall), good for only 13 points and third place with only three matches remaining. In order for Menlo to win the title, it would have to win its final three matches and finish with 22 points. Priory would have to beat SHP and lose twice while SHP would have to finish no better than 0-2-1 in its final three.
King's took the lead midway through the first half on a goal by Alex Alugas. Menlo equalized late in the half when Kelly Cavan scored from 15 yards out off a cross from Maya Norman. Shannon Lacy, Sophia King, and Alex Tom led the Menlo defense. Goalkeeper Julia Dressel played the first half and Kelly McConnell the second. Both made four saves.
In Hillsborough, Pinewood saw its four-match win streak end in a 3-1 loss to host Crystal Springs in WBAL (Skyline Division) action on Thursday. The Panthers (4-3, 9-7-1) fell behind 2-0 before Quinn Foster scored in the 50th minute off an assist from Margo Cilker. Pinewood had its chances before the Gryphons scored again in the 78th min
ute to wrap things up.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton gave up a goal in the 22nd minute and suffered a 1-0 loss to visiting Aragon on Thursday. The Bears (3-6-1, 8-6-2) saw their postseason hopes slip further away with the setback.