Mitty girls back in a familiar spot
If not for Archbishop Mitty, Pinewood might be going for its fifth straight Central Coast Section Open Division title. But Mitty is the gold standard in the CCS playoffs and Friday night the Monarchs will try to beat Pinewood for the fifth consecutive season in the section’s Open Division final.
Mitty reached the title game with a 62-31 victory over St. Ignatius in the semifinals Wednesday at Gunn.
It was another night of balanced offense for coach Sue Phillips’ team as 13 players scored, led by Olivia Williams’ 11. Marley Langi added eight points and Siena Guttadauro and Katie Springs each finished with six.
Mitty will bring a 16-game winning streak into the title game at Maples Pavilion.
Trilogy can’t live up to the hype in CCS girls semis
Same as the Godfather trilogy, turns out Pinewood vs. Menlo School III couldn’t live up to the hype.
The West Bay Athletic League foes split regular-season matchups, but in the other CCS Open Division semifinal at Gunn it was all Pinewood, 58-33.
The Panthers (23-3) led 29-13 at the half.
“We got them out of sorts, and they’re a very good team,” Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler said. “I don’t think they played their best today, far from their best. And if we get credit for that, I mean, great. We didn’t do anything really any different than we did the first two games.”
Menlo (20-6), last year’s CIF Division II state champion, got a team-high 14 points from point guard Avery Lee, while post Sharon Nejad contributed 10.
Pinewood was led by three-year starter Courtni Thompson and her game-high 16 points.
“She’s just kind of rounding into comfort,” said Scheppler, who added Thompson battled past a couple of injuries.
Una Jovanovic and Maia Garcia also cracked double-digits for the Panthers with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
This is a sixth-straight shot at the Open Division final for Pinewood, which lost its previous four tries to Mitty.
“We have to take care of the ball and rebound,” Scheppler said. “It’s no different than we’ve ever played them before.”
He added: “They play really hard, that’s something to be admired. But we’ve been looking forward to this game for a while.”
Bellarmine boys back for more
For a fifth year in a row, the Bells will compete for a CCS Open Division boys basketball championship.
No. 3 seed Bellarmine left no doubt it deserved a return ticket to the title game after a 57-28 dismantling of No. 7 St. Francis.
“Every year that I’ve been here we’ve been going to CCS Open, it’s amazing,” said Bellarmine senior Ian Elam, who finished with a game-high 15 points. “I feel truly blessed.”
The Bells (23-3) jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but it didn’t stop there.
St. Francis (15-11), which split the regular-season meetings against its West Catholic Athletic League rival, found itself behind 29-9 just before halftime — until a 3-pointer in the final 10 seconds.
“This is honestly a dream come true,” Bellarmine senior Anthony Piro said.
He added: “You’re going to win a game holding a team to only 28 points. And then the offense comes from that.”
Bellarmine led by as much as 33 points before emptying its bench with under three minutes left in the third quarter.
“We’re always pedal to the metal,” said Piro, who drained a couple of early treys and accounted for 10 points, while Denker contributed 12 points.