EAST PALO ALTO -- Menlo School tried to press Eastside Prep in Friday night's West Bay Athletic League girls basketball showdown.
Everyone tries to press Eastside, which suits up only seven players and plays only six. Everyone tries to wear them down, hoping to get a player or two in foul trouble.
Suffice to say the Panthers are used to it.
They handled the Menlo press well Friday in a 41-31 victory that solidifies their position atop the WBAL's Foothill Division.
"We work so hard on conditioning and skills development," point guard Charmaine Bradford said. "We're not going to let some little press mess us up. Just stay calm and look up court."
Eastside (14-5, 5-1) is one of the best rebounding teams in the Central Coast Section. Hashima Carothers, a 6-foot senior averaging 14.4 points and 9.9 rebounds, led the way against Menlo with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Destiny Graham, a 6-3 sophomore, had 11 rebounds as did Alexus Simon, a 5-9 junior. The Panthers outrebounded Menlo 37-27.
Carothers, who will play for Jennifer Azzi at USF next season, has developed an outside shot to go with her post-up game.
"When she first came here, she was strictly a low-post player," Eastside coach Donovan Blythe said. "I told her that to play at the next level she would have to develop her game facing the basket."
Menlo (13-6, 3-2) was led by track star Maddie Price, who scored 11 points. USC-bound Drew Edelman, who came into the game averaging 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds, scored just 10 as Eastside, with its two big players, was able to double-team the 6-4 Edelman when she got the ball down low. Graham guarded her initially. Once Edelman turned to shoot, Carothers came over for the double-team.
"Drew is a great player," Blythe said. "When she catches the ball in the low post, you might as well let her score or go the free-throw line."
Menlo played without point guard Lauren Lete, who has suffered from headaches since taking a blow to the head,
Eastside led 13-10 after one quarter. Menlo went on a 6-0 run to start the second quarter, but the Panthers came back with nine unanswered points to take a 22-16 lead and stayed on top the rest of the way.
For more on high school sports, see the After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools. Contact Glenn Reeves at 650-348-4345 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/GReeves23.