The regular season for winter sports is rapidly coming to an end, with the playoffs right around corner.
While some the Peninsula Athletic League races for division titles are still up for grabs, three have already been decided: the Burlingame and Half Moon Bay boys’ basketball teams have clinched the South and North titles, respectively, while the Westmoor girls’ basketball squad has locked up the North crown.
The PAL boys’ and girls’ soccer, as well as the PAL wrestling titles are still up for grabs.
Here is how things stand going into the final weeks of the regular season.
The race for the Bay Division title has been a roller coaster all season. Two weeks ago, Woodside was at the top of the table. Now that spot belongs to Half Moon Bay, with 21 points. But Menlo-Atherton, Woodside and Burlingame are all hot on the trail.
Half Moon Bay, however, has a chance to put some distance between itself and the rest of the division with games against San Mateo and Aragon – the two teams at the bottom of the standings. Menlo-Atherton has another showdown with rival Woodside Thursday, with the Wildcats coming off a must-win game against Carlmont Wednesday. Back-to-back games for Woodside will test its mental fortitude.
In the Ocean Division, El Camino has quietly risen to the top of the standings and is working on an unbeaten league season. The Colts’ 26 points are two points clear of rival South City and five points ahead of third-place Hillsdale.
If the Colts can hold off those challenges, they will have definitely earned the title. Their two final regular-season games come against South City Wednesday and Hillsdale next Friday.
Both the PAL Bay and Ocean races are as tight as can be. Woodside, Burlingame and Carlmont are all battling it for the Bay Division championship, while Menlo-Atherton is within shouting distance.
Burlingame probably has the toughest road left, with game a game against Menlo-Atherton today and Carlmont next Tuesday.
In the Ocean Division, the race is coming down to Half Moon Bay and Terra Nova, which will most likely end up as co-champions. They split their season series and they are both head and shoulders better than the rest of the league. A loss by either from here on out would be considered a major upset.
In PAL Bay Division wrestling, the title will, once again, come down to a matchup between Half Moon Bay and Terra Nova, who meet in Pacifica Thursday night. Terra Nova is the defending champion, Half Moon Bay was the 2012 champ. Both enter the match undefeated in league dual meets and both have a number of ranked wrestlers.
In the Ocean Division, Menlo-Atherton and Burlingame both have shots at finishing at co-champions. Both are 4-1, with the Bears hosting Burlingame and the Vikings traveling to Woodside.
If Burlingame beats M-A and Mills wins, the Vikings would be outright champions.
Carlmont and Mills are tied for the PAL South lead right now, a game ahead of Hillsdale.
Fifth-place Capuchino could end up playing the spoiler, however. The Mustangs have games against both the Scots (Wednesday) and Mills (Friday). If Cap knocks off both and Hillsdale wins its final two games, there could be a three-way tie for the top spot.
At the professional level, sport is all about winning and losing. At the high school and college levels, however, there is more to sports than just the final score. Prep atheltics are an extension of the classroom and are supposed to be used to teach life lesson that student-athletes can apply in their every-day lives.
Friday night was one such occasion when Menlo School hosted rival Sacred Heart Prep in both boys’ and girls’ basketball.l The rivalry may exist on the court, but Friday both the Menlo and SHP student bodies came together to lift the spirits of a young man battling cancer.
Friday was coined “Noah’s Day” and the student sections showed their support for the seven-year-old South Bay student, whose teacher is the wife of Menlo coach Delandro Leday. Noah was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a high-grade, cancerous brain tumor. He is being treated at the U.C. San Francisco medical center and is part of a clinical trial in Houston, Tx.
Instead of the usual gold worn by Menlo fans and the cardinal of SHP, most of those in attendance were clad in orange, Noah’s favorite color. Noah was an honored guest at the game and was named Menlo’s team captain for the night. He was also given a game ball and signed jerseys from both teams.
"We got a lot of support from Menlo for making this a special day for Noah and Prep did a great job with service, so kudos to them for all their help," Leday said in a press release.
SHP pulled out a 55-51 overtime win to sweep the regular-season series from Menlo, but the big winner Friday night was Noah.
High school athletes aren’t the only ones getting involved in the battle against cancer. The Skyline men’s and women’s basketball teams will host a Coaches vs. Cancer Wednesday, when they host Las Positas College-Livermore in a doubleheader.
The Skyline athletic department will donate all proceeds to the family of Bella Hung, an eight-year-old girl from Pacifica who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) this past Novemeber. ALL is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and is one of the most common types of cancer in children. Bella is facing two more years of chemotherapy. Bella’s mother is a former Skyline College student.
The men’s game tips off at 5 p.m., followed by the women at 7 p.m.
Congratulations are in order for Skyline baseball manager Dino Nomicos, who won his 300th game with the Trojans with a 12-1 win over visiting College of the Redwoods Sunday.
Nomicos, who took over the Skyline program beginning the 2000 season, has averaged 20 wins during his 15 seasons with Skyline.
More importantly, however, was the fact Skyline picked up its first two wins of the season Sunday with a doubleheader sweep of Redwoods Sunday.