The Mercury News
Pinewood uses huge second, third quarters to get past Acalanes
It's entirely possible Pinewood High will be better next year. Same goes for Acalanes.
But 2024 was the last thing on the mind of either team Tuesday as Pinewood took control in the second and third quarters for a 58-50 win over host Acalanes in a first-round NorCal Division I girls regional game in Lafayette.
The Dons came out firing in the first quarter, hitting five of their eventual 11 3-point shots and taking a 20-7 lead. Acalanes was doing its thing, pressing, trapping and making life miserable for anyone in possession of the ball.
For the next two quarters, it was all Pinewood. The Panthers began to solve Acalanes' press and leave their own calling card in the form of the 3-point shot. Pinewood outscored Acalanes 4315 in the second and third quarters.
“Defensively I thought we played really well after the first quarter in terms of holding them to one shot,” Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler said. “We can shoot the ball. Our whole philosophy is threes, floaters and finishes. We don't shoot any mid-range shots. We were to get some easy baskets in transition, get some offensive board put-backs.”
Alex Facelo led all scorers with 25 points, including seven 3-point shots, with post Ava Uhrich a dominant presence with 19 points and doing most of her damage inside. Jolyn Ding added 11 points for the Panthers.
For Acalanes, Ariana Hallstrom scored 13 points, Sophie Chinn and K.K. Lancanlale 12 each and Cameron Thornton 11.
“We always play hard,” Acalanes coach Margaret Gartner said. “They had a run we weren't able to stop, then we had to play catch up and take a lot of chances which means leaving people open. We couldn't stop the bleeding.”
With the win, Pinewood will get to stay in the Bay Area to take on No. 2 Oakland Tech tonight. And they've already proven that even a 13-point deficit is not too big for them to overcome with 3-pointers.
“I was a little bit concerned, but it was about believing in each other, believing in ourselves and believing that the shots were going to fall at some point,” Uhrich said. “Just keep shooting. We
were getting open shots, but they weren't falling. Doc's whole thing is keep shooting, and that's what we did.”
NO. 2 OAKLAND TECH 62, NO. 15 MCCLATCHY-SACRAMENTO 50 >> In its first taste of Division I basketball in years, Taliyah Logwood led Tech with 25 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, to beat McClatchy-Sacramento.
Tech (26-5) claimed D-III NorCal and state championships in 2019 and 2022 and was slated to play in the 2020 Division II state final that was canceled because of the pandemic.
Oakland Tech will host Pinewood tonight in the quarterfinals in a rematch from six weeks ago, when Tech won 69-59 on Jan. 16.
NO. 3 SAN RAMON VALLEY 63, NO. 14 SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL 54 >> San Ramon Valley combined for a 31-19 scoring advantage in the second and third quarters en route to a victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Amanda Kerner had 13 points to pace SRV (27-4). Avery Knapp scored 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
Sacred Heart Cathedral finished the season at 21-6.
NO. 6 CARONDELET 57, NO. 11 ANTELOPE 44 >> Jamie Kent scored a team-high 17 points, with 15 of those coming in the second half, Junior guard Keisha Vitalicio scored 13 points and made two three-pointers and 5-5 guard Zoe Gregorios scored four of her eight points in the fourth quarter to help Carondelet pull away from Antelope on Tuesday.
Carondelet will make the short trip to face No. 3 seed San Ramon Valley tonight. SRV beat Carondelet 76-69 on Jan. 17, and the Danville school has beaten the Cougars five times since 2020.
Division II girls
NO. 3 MONTE VISTA 62, NO. 14 BRANHAM 47 >> Sarina Nagra had 19 points for Monte Vista (25-6). Alyssa Rudd had 14 points and eight rebounds. Nia Coleman and Rachel Brans each scored 11 points.
For Branham (21-7), Jessalyn Rugrow had 14 points and Quinn Godfrey added 12. Godfrey also had seven rebounds.
Monte Vista will host San Joaquin Memorial tonight.