Pinewood School girls basketball coach Doc Scheppler and his standout point guard, Marissa Hing, don’t lack for confidence – and with good reason. Their team improved to 25-2 with Friday’s 54-31 victory over Presentation in the Central Coast Section Open Division quarterfinals.
Pinewood may be seeded fourth, but Scheppler believes his Panthers are capable of winning this toughest division of the playoffs.
“We can play with both of these teams,” he said, pointing to Wilcox and Sacred Heart Cathedral as they warmed up to play after Pinewood’s game at Gunn. “We can play with them.”
Hing – who scored nearly half of her team’s points against No. 5 Presentation – nodded her head in agreement.
Pinewood was scheduled to get its chance to play top-seeded Sacred Heart Cathedral (20-6) in Tuesday night’s semifinals at Milpitas. The winner advances to the title game, slated 6 p.m. Friday at Santa Clara University.
Pinewood got off to a slow start against Presentation (16-11), down 14-5 after the first quarter.
But the Panthers turned it around in the second, outscoring Presentation 15-6 to even the score at 20. Hing, held scoreless in the first, tallied 10 of her game-high 24 points in the second quarter. She opened the period with a baseline 3-pointer and finished it by faking a jumper before driving to the basket for a layin.
“We had a spark at the end of the second quarter and that kind of carried over into the second half,” Hing said.
The teams traded buckets until the final two minutes of the third quarter, when Pinewood went on a 9-0 run to take over the game. Hing banked in a 3 from the top of the key and used a crossover dribble to get to the rim for a lay-in just before the buzzer to put Pinewood ahead 36-29.
Hing wasn’t done. Stealing a pass on Presentation’s first possession of the fourth, the 5-foot-2 junior dashed for an easy layup. Teammate Akayla Hackson (11 points) followed with a similar play – part of Pinewood’s 18-2 run to end the game.
“Akayla played big time for us,” Scheppler said of the freshman. “She plays with swagger.”
Lancers eliminate Eagles
Top seed St. Francis cruised to a 60-38 win over shorthanded Los Altos, the eight seed, Saturday in the CCS Division II quarterfinals at Christopher High in Gilroy.
The Eagles (18-7) played without two injured starters: guards Katie Munro (ankle) and Rebecca Andrews (knee). They still kept the game close for a quarter, trailing 19-17 after the first.
But early in the second, Los Altos lost another player. Senior center Meghan McDermott – who scored nine points in the first – injured her collarbone/shoulder going after a loose ball, according to coach Jaclyn Brode, and did not return to the game.
“We kept fighting, but we just didn’t have enough horses to stay in the race,” the coach said.
St. Francis pulled away in the second quarter with a 20-7 run.
Jenesis Merriman finished with 15 points to lead the Lancers (15-11), who were slated to take on No. 5 Los Gatos (17-9) in Tuesday’s semifinals (played after the Town Crier’s deadline).
Meg Enthoven paced Los Altos with 16 points.