The Menlo School girls will play for the championship of the Steve Geramoni Old School Basketball Tournament following a solid 54-38 victory over Moreau Catholic in the semifinals Tuesday at Notre Dame-Belmont.
The Knights (5-2) will face host Notre Dame-Belmont (3-4) in the title game Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be a rematch of last winter's Central Coast Section Division IV championship showdown won by Menlo.
Kenzie Duffner led the Knights with 14 points and seven rebounds with Sam Erisman tossing in 13 points. Menlo shot only 32 percent from the floor, but the players were coming off of final exams and coach John Paye expected the combination of that and the fast-approaching holidays accounted for the lack of shooting. The Knights countered that by forcing 21 turnovers and going off on a 21-1 run in the first half while grabbing a 28-18 lead.
In Atherton, Menlo-Atherton pulled away from a six-point halftime lead and posted a 54-35 victory over visiting Homestead in nonleague action.
M-A jumped out to a 8-0 lead, but Homestead's Lindsey Nishimoto hit two of her three 3 pointers on the night to close the gap to 11-10 at the end of the first quarter. With each quarter, however, the Bears (6-2) pulled further away.
In the second quarter, M-A's Delilah Kline hit a pair of 3-pointers. The Bears outscored the Mustangs (6-2) by 26-13 in the second half as Ofa Sili scored in the paint, from the 3-point line and at the free-throw line to finish with 14 points. M-A's Megan Sparrow had five steals and Greer Hoyem contributed 10 points.
Menlo School finally got its first victory of the season as four players scored in double figures in a 68-52 nonleague romp over visiting Woodside.
The Knights (1-5) won't have much time off for the holidays as they head to Los Angeles for the annual Chaminade Classic, where Menlo will open against Reseda on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Against the Wildcats, Menlo senior Jared Lucian poured in 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and finished with five assists and six rebounds. Charlie Roth contributed 14 points and had three steals and seven rebounds. Senior Farad Abbasi and junior Hayden Pegley each added 10 points. Ben Simon pitched in with five assists and JH Tevis had 10 rebounds and a block.
Also in Atherton, Menlo-Atherton continued its solid season with a 71-32 nonleague thumping of Jefferson. In what is now an annual tip-off between the teams, M-A raced to a fast 18-5 first-quarter lead and a 39-10 halftime advantage on the way to improving to 5-1.
Blake Henry led the Bears' balanced attack with 13 points along with five rebounds. Lucas Fioretti had 11 points on three 3-pointers along with five rebounds, five steals and six assists. Christian Fioretti had eight points to go with four assists and four rebounds. Tim Anderson finished with seven points and Eric Norton and Will Perrone each had six points. Raymond Fowler and Kailen Kershner each added five points and five rebounds.
Menlo-Atherton will be back in action Monday at the Tim Cole Classic at American High in Fremont.
In boys' action Wednesday, Palo Alto (5-1) visits Oaks Grove at 5 p.m., in a tuneup before next week's Joe Schram Holiday Basketball Classic at St. Francis High. That three-day event begins Monday.