Pinewood opened up a two-game lead in the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) girls' basketball race and clinched no worse than a co-title following a 40-32 victory over host Eastside Prep on Friday night.
Pinewood grabbed a 25-19 halftime lead and held just a 34-32 advantage when Eastside Prep's Charmaine Bradford hit a jumper. Just seconds later, 6-foot-3 center Destiny Graham fouled out. That left Eastside with just five players with under five minutes to play.
Two free throws by senior Leeana Bade extended Pinewood's lead to four. When Marissa Hing and Kendahl Wallis-Lang hit baskets, Pinewood finally could breathe a little easier.
Hing, Bade and Monique McDevitt all scored 10 points for Pinewood. Graham had 14 points and 14 rebounds with Bradford also tallying 14 points for Eastside Prep.
Both teams have two regular-season games remaining. Pinewood can win the title outright by beating host Mercy-Burlingame on Tuesday, thus earning the No. 1 seed for the WBAL Tournament. Pinewood and Eastside Prep likely will meet again in the playoffs before heading into the Central Coast Section tournament.
In Atherton, host Menlo School won a defensive battle and outscored rival Sacred Heart Prep by 17 points at the free-throw line on the way to a 39-24 victory in WBAL Foothill Division action Friday night.
The Knights (4-4, 13-9), who snapped a three-game losing streak, held the Gators (3-5, 12-10) to just four points in the first half -- including none in the second quarter. Menlo was led in scoring by Hannah Paye and McKenzie Duffner, with 10 and nine points, respectively. Defensively, Olivia Pellarin had eight rebounds and five blocks for the Knights.
In the PAL Bay Division, it was a much-anticipated showdown between two of the top teams in the league and host Menlo-Atherton put up a good fight before coming up just short of upending co-leader Carlmont while dropping a 48-44 decision on Friday night in Atherton.
Carlmont (9-1, 20-2) jumped out to a 6-0 advantage and looked like the game would be repeat of their previous meeting. However, quarter by quarter, M-A closed the gap and trailed by only one point with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Bears (7-3, 17-7) rallied behind senior captain Emma Heath, who scored six of her 12 points in the fourth. Down by two with 15 seconds remaining, M-A missed a go-ahead 3-pointer and the Scots' Anisah Smith made both of her one-and-one free throws to seal the game.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, visiting Gunn was outscored by 28-13 over the second and third quarters while dropping a 51-33 decision to Lynbrook. The Titans fell to 5-4 in league (6-6 overall).