BALOBA HIGH SCHOOL — The battle of the top two flag football teams in the Academic Athletic Association lived up to its billing on Wednesday afternoon, with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Dana Liu to Angelique Garrett serving as the only score as Galileo beat Balboa 7-0. Liu found Garrett on a 34-yard strike with 6:44 left, then connected with Divya Patel on the conversion as the Lions finally broke through offensively while playing stout defense at the other end.
Galileo (9-0) had threatened to score twice earlier in the game but came up empty, and the only time the Buccaneers came close to scoring came in the second quarter, when an interception and two long Josephine Harper runs got the hosts into the red zone. Balboa (8-2) was unable to convert and didn’t get any further chances, as the Lions clinched the regular season championship.
“We had a couple breakdowns in certain areas and one big defensive mistake,” said Balboa coach Alex Williams. “Football comes down to who makes the fewest mistakes, and they played great defense.”
The Buccaneers never got past midfield after the Garrett touchdown, on which she juked a defender along the far sideline, and Galileo was able to run out the clock. The Lions’ defense has been the stingiest in the league, and for good reason. They have practiced against the boys’ football team’s skeleton offense for the majority of the team’s existence, which dates back to when girls’ flag football became a AAA-sanctioned sport in 2013.
Serra baseball has gone on a meteoric rise after a slow start, notching a seventh straight win with Tuesday’s 17-8 victory over Mitty (11-6, 7-4 WCAL) after facing an early 8-1 deficit. During the streak , the Padres have risen all the way from sixth in the WCAL to a tie for second, even handing a loss to league-leading Valley Christian (15-4, 9-2) in the process.
Serra (12-6, 7-4) beat the Warriors 1-0 on April 4, getting five shutout innings from Tim Ghiorso and two from Christian Falk to close out a huge win at Frisella Field. Tommy Gould scored the game’s lone run, reaching on an infield hit and later scoring on a throwing error on Omar Barraza’s grounder to short. The Padres also beat rival St. Francis (13-5, 6-5) on Saturday, needing nine innings to beat the Lancers 2-1 in Mountain View. It was their second extra-inning win of the streak, with a 10-inning triumph at Bellarmine on March 29. After scoring two runs in the third, the Padres were held in check until the 10th, where they finally got the two more runs they needed for a 4-2 victory.
Serra hosts Sacred Heart Cathedral (11-6, 5-6) on Friday, looking to avenge an earlier 3-1 loss before taking a break from WCAL play to take part in the Boras Classic in Sacramento.
St. Ignatius boys’ lacrosse: The Wildcats continue to run circles around local competition, posting a 16-9 win over Bellarmine to remain unbeaten. The Wildcats led 6-1 at halftime and 7-3 through three quarters before the floodgates opened for both teams in the fourth. The only local team to stay close with St. Ignatius (11-0, 5-0 WCAL) was Larkspur-Redwood, as the ‘Cats edged the Giants 13-10 back on March 30.
AAA Baseball: While Lowell (9-5, 6-1 AAA) continues to dominate Division 1 of AAA baseball, last-place Burton (1-3 AAA) turned some heads in Division 2. After a 22-1 loss to Wallenberg (4-0) on March 22, the Pumas trailed by just a run in the top of the fifth on Monday with men on second and third before the game was suspended by rain. It is scheduled to resume on April 29.
AAA Softball: What was once a crowded mess in the AAA softball race has finally seen some separation as Lowell (7-0) has pulled away, leading three other teams by 3 1/2 games. Since a 14-7 win over Washington (3-3) last Tuesday, the Cardinals have dispatched Lincoln 13-4 and shut out Galileo 16-0. Balboa, Lincoln and Washington all now sit tied for second, while Burton (6-0) has taken control of Division 2.