While some local basketball teams remain on vacation, a handful of others continue to make final preparations for next week's league openers -- fine tuning their games in holiday tournaments.
The Menlo School and Pinewood girls attempted to do just that on Tuesday while winning opening-round games in their respective tourneys.
In Belmont, Menlo School started out strong by scoring 27 points in the first half, but had to hold on for a 42-27 victory over Casa Roble of Orangevale (near Sacramento) in the opening round of the Notre Dame-Belmont Holiday Tournament.
Menlo sophomore Donya Dehnad hit a key basket late in the fourth quarter to seal the win at the Knights improved to 6-2. Junior center Drew Edelman led the way with 20 points and 17 rebounds and now has scored 106 points and grabbed 92 rebounds in her past five games, with Menlo going 4-1 during that span.
Dehnad also contributed seven rebounds on Tuesday while teammate Lauren Lete added 10 points and five assists. Menlo next will play on Wednesday against Scotts Valley at 6 p.m.
In San Francisco, Pinewood won its sixth straight and moved into the semifinals of the Leo LaRocca Sand Dune Classic with a 43-32 victory over Galileo at St. Ignatius High.
The Panthers (8-3) got 14 points from freshman guard Marissa Hing and 10 points plus 11 rebounds from sophomore Leeana Bade while keeping their turnovers to a manageable 10. Freshman Gabi Bade contributed eight points, four rebounds and four steals for Pinewood, which has only two seniors (Kelly Doran and Jenny Hansen).
Pinewood will play Lowell (SF) in the semifinals on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. The finals will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
In San Jose, Castilleja fell behind by 21 at halftime after giving up runs of 14-1 and 16-4 and opened the Dons Club Holiday Tournament at Del Mar High with a 70-33 loss to Livermore.
The Gators (4-5) got 12 points from junior Olivia Nicholls, who scored 10 points in the second quarter, while freshman Paige Vermeer collected all of her career-high tying seven steals in the second half. Castilleja junior Lauren Rantz pulled down 11 rebounds and added three blocks, become the fourth player in school history to record 100 career rejections.
In Antioch, Eastside Prep fell behind by 32-9 at halftime and never could make up the deficit while dropping a 61-39 decision to Reed (Nevada) in the opening round of the Gold Division at the annual West Coast Jamboree on Tuesday at Deer Valley High. Still playing without standout junior center Hashima Carothers, the Panthers (4-7) shot just 23 percent (14 of 62) from the field.
Sophomore guard Anisah Smith led Eastside with 13 points with freshman Brije Byers adding a career-high 10. Destiny Graham, a 6-foot-3 freshman, tallied nine points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Panthers did a good job on the boards with 39. Graham also had five blocks and five steals, but the Panthers hurt themselves with 18 turnovers while falling into the consolation bracket of the 16-team bracket.
Miles Weiss scored 21 points and Dominic Tully pulled down 10 rebounds to spark Menlo-Atherton to a 62-46 victory over Sobrato in the first round of the Sobrato Tournament on Tuesday. Royce Branning added 12 points for the Bears (6-4).
In West Hills near Los Angeles, Menlo School dropped a 55-44 decision to Sammamish, Wash., in the second round of the Chaminade Classic. The Knights (4-3) next will play Campbell Hall of West Hollywood in Wednesday's consolation bracket.