Behind a barrage of 3-pointers, the Pinewood School girls basketball team pummeled Palo Alto 97-61 in the Central Coast Section Open Division quarterfinals Friday night.
The undefeated Panthers (15-0) made a season-high 17 treys, needing only 31 attempts to get there. They actually shot better from beyond the arc (55%) than from inside it (54%).
Four of those 3s came from Elle Ladine, whose 18 points and 14 rebounds off the bench also led Pinewood. Una Jovanovic scored 15 points, Emily Lee added 14 and Annika Decker had 11; the trio shot a combined 8-of-10 from distance.
Ahead 46-33 at halftime, the second-seeded Panthers put away the No. 7 Vikings (14-6) in the third quarter. Host Pinewood opened the period with a devastating 17-2 run in which Chance Bucher scored all eight of her points (two 3s and a layin). By quarter’s end, the Panthers’ lead had ballooned to 70-39.
Pinewood buried five treys in the fourth – two of them courtesy of junior Ladine – en route to the team’s highest-scoring game of the year.
The Panthers next host No. 3 St. Ignatius (13-4) in a semifinal game set for 7 p.m. Wednesday (June 9). The winner is likely to face top-seeded Mitty (12-1) – heavily favored in its semifinal versus No. 5 Woodside Priory (10-3) – in Friday’s title game. Mitty has beaten Pinewood in the last five Open Division finals, prevailing 76-44 a year ago.
Even before the playoffs began, Decker said the Panthers had the Monarchs on their mind.
“That’s honestly always been what you’re thinking about all year, just replaying them; you always want to rematch,” the point guard said. “I don’t think we’ve ever played our best game against them. I think especially for all of us seniors, there’s five of us – the five starters – we want that game really bad, so we’re all really gunning for it.”
Eagles earn top seed in Division I
For the first time in decades – if not ever – Los Altos has landed a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, which coach Erik Stuart called “a very nice honor for all the players.”
The top seed in CCS Division I after an 11-3 regular season that included a third-place finish in the SCVAL De Anza Division, the Eagles received a first-round bye.
Los Altos was slated to host No. 6 Piedmont Hills (7-5) in the quarterfinals Tuesday (June 8), a game played after the Town Crier’s press deadline. The winner advances to Thursday’s semifinals.
Lancers secure 2nd seed in Division II
As the No. 2 seed in CCS Division II, St. Francis also moved directly to the quarterfinals. The Lancers (3-8) were set to host No. 7 Woodside (6-4) Tuesday (June 8).
Spartans skip CCS playoffs
Mountain View qualified for the CCS Division I playoffs, but coach Xavier Cook said the Spartan chose not to participate due to the day the CCS scheduled the first-round games.
“Our two best players are seniors, and graduation day is June 4,” Cook said last week, “so we felt like it wasn’t worth going.”
Mountain View placed fifth in the SCVAL El Camino Division at 6-6 and went 7-7 overall.