Photo By: SHIRLEY PEFLEY/SPECIAL TO THE Town Crier
Bob McFarlane’s first season as Los Altos High boys basketball coach got off to a challenging start last week. After opening at home against Leland, the Eagles faced two more formidable foes in the Cupertino Shootout and lost those games as well.
“We had a rough week,” McFarlane said. “Not that we didn’t play that well, but three of the four teams were very good.”
Los Altos’ lone win of the week came against Cupertino in the opening round of the tourney. The Eagles drubbed the winless Pioneers 47-22 Thursday.
The next two days, Los Altos faced teams that went deep into the playoffs last season. Bellarmine beat the Eagles 66-32 Friday and Mountain View routed them 72-49 Saturday.
Los Altos played even with rival Mountain View for the first quarter and trailed only 36-30 at halftime. But just as they did against Leland in the Nov. 26 opener – which the visiting Chargers won 60-51 – the Eagles faltered in the second half. The Spartans outscored them 36-19.
“We have a relatively inexperienced, younger team and some new guys who are still getting familiar with me and each other,” McFarlane said. “We anticipate some growing pains early this season as we come together as a unit.”
The coach has reasons for optimism, though. Senior leaders Nate Becker and Kieran Stolorz “played excellent defense” last week, McFarlane said, while point guard Nate Vieira – a senior transfer from Oak Grove – led Los Altos in scoring three times.
The coach also praised juniors Joe Malgesini and Steven Garverick for their scoring, defense and rebounding, and noted that sophomore Danny Rosenbaum made some big shots throughout the tourney.
Mountain View opened its season with a 3-1 week. After tipping it off with a 63-51 home win over Livermore Nov. 27, the Spartans went 2-1 at the Mills Classic. Mountain View fell 55-32 to Lowell in the first round of the tournament, then beat Sequoia 53-26 Thursday and El Camino 62-32 Friday.
Karen Kauffman totaled 15 points to lead Mountain View against Sequoia and Bailey Polisso scored 15 versus El Camino.
After opening the year with a 46-42 win over Scotts Valley, St. Francis scorched Skyline 50-28 Saturday. The Lancers led the latter game 33-12 at halftime.
Shelbi Aimonetti paced St. Francis with 14 points against Skyline, Kate Hoey added 12 and Jennifer Lucian 10.
Defending Central Coast Section Division I champion Mountain View picked up where it left off last season, winning its first two games of the new campaign.
The Spartans last week topped Menlo-Atherton 3-1 and Scotts Valley 2-0.
In Thursday’s opener at M-A, freshman Ysabel Baluyot scored two goals for Mountain View and sophomore Morgan Matthews notched the other. Junior Erica Higa set up all three goals.
“We started off a bit slow, with it being our first game of the season, but after we settled down, the girls played some good soccer and created many scoring chances,” said coach Ivan Bandov, who also acknowledged the strong defense of senior goalie Alesha Brown and center backs Neha Cheemalavagu and Emma Donckels.
In Saturday’s home opener, Matthews scored both goals against Scotts Valley, assisted by Allie Gamble and Higa.
After tying Castilleja 1-1 at the season-opening Palo Alto Winter Classic, Los Altos fell 1-0 to Los Gatos Friday.
Stephanie Kouvelas scored for the Eagles in the opener, assisted by fellow freshman Sara Friend.
St. Francis routed host Aptos 4-0 Thursday to kick off its season.
Annie Kingman recorded two goals and an assist for the Lancers, Christina Polini contributed a goal and an assist, and Katherine Bell scored the other goal on an assist from Kelly Park.
Pinewood pasted Immaculate Conception Academy 8-0 Saturday to open play in the West Bay Athletic League Skyline Division.
Freshman Olivia Biggs notched four goals for the Panthers, Nancy Sutter scored twice and Gabrielle Amos-Grosser and freshman Amrita Mecker had one goal each.
The St. Francis boys placed 17th in the Division II race at the CIF State Cross Country Championships Nov. 24 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Gabriel McLarnan paced the Lancers, finishing 68th in the 5K race with a time of 16 minutes, 28 seconds. Fellow junior Robbie Lacomble followed (93rd, 16:38), then sophomore Tanner Sartwell (97th, 16:40). Senior George Shoemaker (115th, 16:51) and freshman Alex Ward (121st, 16:56) rounded out the Lancers’ top five.