Erica Fischer scored a game-high 20 points and Oron Estes drained five 3-pointers as the Menlo-Atherton girls’ basketball team nearly doubled up Argonaut-Jackson 72-38 in the first round of the Northern California Division IV bracket.
The Bears (18-11), seeded No. 2 despite falling in the Central Coast Section Division I semifinals, got off to a fast start by outscoring the Mustangs 24-7 in the first quarter. The defense of M-A suffocated Argonaut (23-10) and they were unable to establish any offensive rhythm.
M-A concluded the first quarter on a 12-0 run and the Mustangs could not recover from the deficit.
It was smooth sailing from there. The tenacious defense combined with a plethora of 3-pointers was the difference.
The Bears passed the ball effectively around the defense, and it led to a lot of open shots. Argonaut simply couldn’t match M-A’s offensive productivity. Argonaut seemed uncomfortable and out of sorts at times, and they failed to develop any offensive momentum because of it.
No. 1 Menlo School 66, No. 16 Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento 56
Avery Lee, Sharon Nejad and Danielle McNair all scored in double figures to help lead the Knights to the first-round win over the Pride in the CIF Nor Cal Division II bracket.
Lee scored a game-high 23 points, Nejad added 13 and McNair 11. Menlo could never quite put Bradshaw Christian away, but the Knights led by two after one quarter, 29-24 at halftime and 42-36 after three. The teams then combined for 48 points in the fourth quarter.
No. 9 Aragon 47, No. 8 Eureka 44
The six-and-a-half hour drive was worth it as the Dons advanced to the second round of the CIF Nor Cal tournament with the road over the Loggers.
Aragon (18-11) was led by Lydia Manu’s 19 points.
The Dons will host No. 16 Union Mine-El Dorado in a semifinal game Thursday. The Diamondbacks upset top-seeded Christian Brothers-Sacramento, 54-47.
Aragon trailed 13-10 after one quarter, but outscored Eureka (21-11) 21-15 in the second to lead 31-29 at the half. The Dons pushed their lead to 42-31 after three periods and the held on in the fourth as they were outscored 13-5 over the final eight minutes.
No. 7 Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove 43, No. 10 Sequoia 31
The Wolfpack (24-7) take care of business against the Cherokees (25-5) and move on to play second-seeded Clovis.
No. 6 Woodside Priory 65, No. 11 Selma 53
The Panthers (16-12) defeat the Bears (28-4) and play against the number three seeded South San Francisco on Thursday at 7 p.m.
No. 12 Nueva 79, No. 5 Liberty 66
The Nueva Mavericks (22-5) scored a big upset to earn their program's first Nor Cal win ever, taking down Liberty by virtue of a monumental third quarter run.
Trailing 35-25 at the half, Nueva went on a 33-5 run in third quarter. Freshman guard Connor McGraw went for 11 points in the quarter, en route to scoring 21 in the game. His older brother, senior Kyle McGraw scored a team-high 28 points. Senior forward Cooper Mills added 10.
Liberty (28-5) was paced by senior Makani Whiteside's 27 points.
With the win, the Mavericks earn a rematch with Eastside College Prep. The two teams met Saturday in the CCS Division V championship game, with Eastside Prep taking the title 55-47 at Palo Alto High School. The rematch with take place on No. 4 Eastside Prep's home turf Thursday at 7 p.m.
No. 9 Serra 60, No. 8 St. Patrick-St. Vincent Vallejo 53
With the game deadlocked at 45 with five minutes to play, Parker McDonald crushed a 3, and Antonio Abeyta followed with back-to-back bombs from beyond the arc to lift the Padres past St. Patrick-St. Vincent (20-12)
The Padres (18-9) advance to the second round to take on No. 1 St. Mary’s Thursday at 7 p.m.
No. 3 Clovis West 69, No. 14 Menlo-Atherton 53
The Golden Eagles (30-3) took care of business to earn their 30th win of the season and move on play the sixth seeded Moreau Catholic. The elmination loss sees M-A (24-5) finish with its best win total since 2015-16.