After nearly a month of only playing games at home or on neutral courts, the Mountain View High boys basketball team received a rude reminder of just how hard it can be to win on the road.
The 11th-seeded Spartans opened the Northern California Division II playoffs by driving 96 miles to Modesto, where No. 6 Beyer beat them 68-57 last week.
Mountain View coach Kevin Mack said the Beyer gym “was a very tough place to play” March 8.
The Patriots’ fleet-footed backcourt contributed to the Spartans’ woes.
“We haven’t seen that type of speed from guards all season,” Mack said. “It was mainly the amount of guards they had that were fast. They kept throwing different ones at us.”
Beyer’s bevy of guards helped the home team get off to a fast start. The Patriots led 41-23 at intermission.
“Beyer came out and shot the lights out in the first half,” Mack said.
But the Spartans – who claimed their first Central Coast Section championship four days earlier – didn’t blink.
“We settled down at halftime and played much better in the second half,” Mack said.
Mountain View outscored the Patriots 18-13 in the third quarter and narrowed the deficit to five with 2:30 remaining in the game.
“We had a chance at the end but just ran out of gas,” Mack said.
Eugene Liao finished with 26 points to pace the Spartans (22-6 overall). The forward also recorded 12 rebounds, four steals and five blocks against Beyer (23-9).
“They had no answer for him,” Mack said of the senior. “I am so proud of how he stepped up on a big stage on the road.”
Sam Tobin added nine points and Matt McTighe chipped in eight points and six rebounds. Tommy Resnick contributed five points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Although Mountain View made a quick exit from NorCal, Mack noted it was still a memorable experience. After all, the Spartans had never made the regional playoffs before.
“Long trip, but something our guys will never forget,” he said.
Alex Reelfs improved to 3-0 as Los Altos beat Milpitas 4-1 Friday to sweep the home-and-home series. The junior struck out nine batters and allowed four hits over six innings.
Matt Truscott earned the save and also recorded two hits, including an RBI single in the first. In their March 8 meeting at Los Altos, the Eagles edged the Trojans 1-0 in eight innings. Max Higareda “rebounded from a poor start to pitch an incredible effort,” coach Gabe Stewart said, striking out nine batters and allowing two hits over 4 2/3 innings. Cobi Dougherty pitched the rest of the way to earn the win. Keenan Hanley recorded the game-winning RBI, bringing Aidan Kelleher home from third with a shot to right caught in foul territory.
The sweep boosted the Eagles’ record to 2-0 in the SCVAL De Anza Division, and Saturday’s 9-5 non-league win over Santa Teresa put their overall record at 7-1-1.
Mountain View split its De Anza Division series with Saratoga, falling 6-5 in nine innings March 8 before routing the Falcons 13-4 Friday.
Tommy Cruz had three hits, stole three bases and scored twice in the Spartans’ home victory.
James Hoyt picked up the win, striking out six over five frames.
Mountain View went to 1-1 in league and 5-2-1 overall.
Ten months after pitching a perfect game for Gunn’s JV team, Los Altos Hills resident Nathan Nakamitsu nearly did it again.
The sophomore tossed a no-hitter in the Titans’ 16-1 shellacking of Lynbrook March 7.
Nakamitsu struck out 10 batters over five innings (the game ended early on the mercy rule) and walked two. Lynbrook scored in the fourth after a batter who walked stole second and third base before scoring on his teammate’s suicide-squeeze bunt.
Mountain View eked out a 4-3 win over rival Los Altos March 7 by sweeping the singles in straight sets. Jeremy Hsu defeated Nick Cosgrove 6-2, 6-1 at the top spot.
The Eagles’ three wins in doubles included Daniel Fritsch and Alec Jenabi’s 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 1 over Zach Wrubel and Thomas Rhu.
Thursday, Los Altos bounced back with a 6-1 rout of Milpitas, while Mountain View fell 7-0 at Cupertino.
A slow start proved costly to Mountain View, which fell 8-7 to Los Gatos March 7. The Spartans trailed 5-0 at halftime but rallied behind two goals each from Micah Ralston, Rachel Hurst and Amaya McNeal.
Coupled with Friday’s 11-3 loss to Gunn, Mountain View dropped to 1-3 overall.
Swimming & diving
The St. Francis boys squeaked by rival Bellarmine 92-91 Thursday, improving to 2-0.
The Lancers received individual wins from Andy Huang in the 200-yard individual medley (1:55.91 seconds), Ryan Kim in the 100 butterfly (53.82), Justin Culetu in the 100 freestyle (48.09), Andreas Nybo in the 100 breaststroke (58.92) and Cole Vertin in diving (247.2 score). St. Francis’ 200 medley relay team of Huang, Nybo, Edward Tay and Nathan Puentes won as well (1:37.69).
At the same time, the St. Francis girls pasted Presentation 116-64 to also raise their record to 2-0.
Led by Sydney Harris and Brooke Schaffer, the Lancers won 10 of the 12 events. Harris claimed the 200 free (1:56.27) and 500 free (5:14.35); Schaffer took top honors in the 50 free (24.70) and 100 fly (55.90).
St. Francis swept Serra Thursday to remain unbeaten in the West Catholic Athletic League (2-0) and overall (3-0). The Lancers prevailed 25-14, 25-12, 25-20.
Outside hitter Jerod Nelsen posted eight kills for the Lancers and setter Curtis Reitmeir notched 32 assists.