Following up on its second straight 12-0 dual-meet season, Paly posted a score of 389 on Tuesday to earn an automatic berth into the Central Coast Section Regional II tourney on Wednesday at Rancho Canada (West) in Carmel Valley.
Palo Alto got rounds of 5-over-par 77 from John Knowles, Sam Niethammer and Henry Hughes, but it was a 79 by Patrick Fuery that helped clinch the victory as Paly trailed by two shots before Fuery finished.
"None of the guys were playing well," explained Paly coach Doyle Knight. "But, they buckled down and stayed focus and kept their scores from getting away from them."
Matt Lewis also shot 79 for the Vikings while Alex Hwang finished with an 85, which didn't count in the scoring.
Gunn shot a team score of 394 and finished second, also advancing to the CCS Regional II next week. Jack Jaffe and Zack Tevanian paced the Titans with 3-over rounds of 75. Shai Mohan shot 76 and Adam Fleischman an 82, with Anson Cheng rounding out the scoring with an 86.
Saratoga finished third with 397 strokes and also qualified for CCS. The Falcons' Christian Galvin earned medalist honors with a 70.
Meanwhile, Gunn's Tevanian was named to the all-league team while Paly was represented by Knowles and Lewis.
On Wednesday, Sacred Heart Prep rolled to an easy victory at the West Bay Athletic League championships on a hot and windy day at Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Gilroy.
The Gators shot 381 as a team to defeat runner-up Harker by 25 strokes. Those teams had shared the regular-season title and had secured berths into the CCS regional tournaments next week. SHP will play alongside Palo Alto on Wednesday.
Sacred Heart Prep was led by the trio of Bradley Keller, Derek Ackerman and Taylor Oliver. All three carded 3-over 75s to share first place. Senior Bradley Knox was battling the flu and settled for a 6-over 78 while teammate Shane Snow also shot 78 to round out the Gators' scoring.
Menlo shot 415 as a team, finishing third, and will have to hope for an at-large berth into CCS. The Knights were led by freshman Rohin Chandra, who earned one of three individual berths into CCS regional play.
Palo Alto snapped a four-game losing streak on Senior Day with a 6-2 victory over visiting Mountain View in SCVAL De Anza Division action. The Vikings moved to 8-5 in league (12-12 overall) with only Friday's game (4 p.m.) at Mountain View left on the regular-season schedule. Division playoffs begin next week.
Senior Jack Cleasby led Paly with a two-run homer in the first inning as the Vikings grabbed a 3-0 lead.
Also in the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn dropped a 17-3 decision to visiting Saratoga on Senior Day and fell to 0-13 in league (2-23 overall).
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton picked one of the warmest day of the season to have its offense go ice-cold as the Bears fell to visiting Burlingame, 6-1. The defeat dropped M-A to 5-4 and 13-9-1 overall while Burlingame improved to 2-6 and 5-14.
M-A managed just three hits against Burlingame starting pitcher Chris Brownlow, who struck out three and walked three in a complete-game effort. Only one of the Bears' three hits — Jordan Long's fifth-inning double — left the infield. Charlie Cain and Lawson Joos had infield singles for M-A.
In Belmont, Sacred Heart Prep dropped a 3-0 decision to host Carlmont and fell to 4-5 in the Bay Division (11-10 overall). The Gators managed just four hits.
Gunn regained sole possession of first place in the SCVAL El Camino Division race on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over host Fremont.
Gunn (7-1, 13-4) took an early lead at the top of the first when Natalie Oda scored on a triple by Titans' pitcher Iris Chin. Fremont responded in the second, putting up its own run. The game remained tied at 1 and seemed headed to extra innings until the top of the seventh when Emily Collins blasted a triple to right field to score Catherine Schwarzwalder for the winning run.
The Titans are a half game ahead of Mountain View, which had a bye on Tuesday. The teams will square off Thursday on the Spartans' field (4 p.m.) with first place on the line.
In San Jose, Palo Alto's Julia Saul tossed a six-hitter and struck out 11 to pace the Vikings to an 11-4 victory over Lynbrook. Saul won her 10th game while Paly improved to 12-9. She lowered her earned-run average to 1.49 in 122 innings and now has 137 strikeouts.
Saul also helped herself by getting two hits, one a double, and scoring two runs. Paly registered 16 hits with Tori DeStefano and Maddie Martinson each getting three. Emma Noroian had three RBI with Shannon Fee and Martinson driving in two.
In the PAL Ocean Division, host Menlo-Atherton dropped a 3-0 decision to Terra Nova. The Bears (3-4, 12-8) got six hits, including doubles by Tanya Lazaro and Yesenia Garcia, but still couldn't push across any runs. M-A starter Emily Katz struck out four and walked two, but fell victim to two unearned runs.
Pinewood sophomore Gabe Owens captured his second straight singles title at the WBAL Individual Tournament that finished up Tuesday at Menlo School.
Owens defeated Sacred Heart Prep senior Cameron Kirkpatrick in the finale, 6-1, 6-2. Both players earned berths in the upcoming CCS Individual Tournament.
Owens reached the title match with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over SHP's Justin Foster while Kirkpatrick advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Menlo sophomore Alex Neumann. Foster defeated Neumann in the third-place match, 6-3, 6-0.
In the doubles final, Menlo's tandem of Gunther Matta and Nathan Safran fell to Alex Buckley and Jackson Lingane of Crystal Springs, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11-9).