A few of the top local teams to meet in tournament semifinals


Palo Alto defeated an undersized Lowell team, 43-31, on Wednesday but now will face a big challenge in going up against Pinewood in Thursday’s semifinals at the Joe Schram Classic.

Pinewood (8-2) beat Soquel 69-40 in a first-round game.

“I thought we were sluggish,’’ Palo Alto coach Scott Peters said of his team’s performance against Lowell. “We didn’t shoot it well and Lowell beat us to a lot of loose balls. We found a way to grind it out.’’

Skylar Burris led Palo Alto with 10 points.

The Vikings play Pinewood at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday.

“We’re going to have to play a lot better,’’ Peters said. “They’re such a tough team. They play hard and put a lot of pressure on you. It will be great for my team. We’ll learn a lot about ourselves.’’

Greer Hoyem scored 31 points to help Menlo-Atherton defeat Kennedy-Sacramento, 65-53, Wednesday in the first round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament at Menlo School.

The victory sets up a meeting with Gunn (6-3), which beat Arroyo Grande, 61-54, in overtime, to advance.

The Bears (6-1) started strong, ending the first quarter up, 18-9, with a balanced attack from Hoyem, who had 10 points in the period, and guard Carly McLanahan, who scored seven.

The Cougars (5-4) spent most of the game shooting from beyond the arc and made three 3-pointers in the first eight minutes.

The game tightened somewhat in the second quarter, with Kennedy adding three more 3-pointers and the Bears Hoyem, McLanahan and senior forward Ofa Sili contributing to the M-A scoring totals. The Bears led, 29-22.

In the third quarter, the Bears outscored the Cougars, 20-6, with Hoyem adding 11 and senior point-guard Ilana Baer getting on the scoreboard with a field goal. Senior guard Megan Sparrow contributed five points.

The Cougars attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter, making six 3-pointers. M-A held them off, with Baer going for five free throws.

Also in the first round, Sacred Heart Prep (6-1) took care of Urban, 55-39, and will meet Berkeley (5-3) in the other semifinal of the competitive bracket No. 2.

Freshman Charlotte Levison led the Gators with 15 points and Lagi Pakola added 11 points.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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