The SCVAL De Anza Division race in girls' water polo is just getting under way, but there's a very big match on the horizon that could determine the season-ending champion.
First-place Gunn and second-place Palo Alto will meet Tuesday for the first of two times, this one in the Vikings' pool at 3:30 p.m. The Titans come in with a 5-0 mark while the Vikings are 4-1.
Both teams already have defeated Los Altos, which has been a routine contender in the division and was the 2011 Central Coast Section Division II runner-up.
Gunn maintained its hold on first place with a 19-6 swamping of visiting Lynbrook on Thursday night as junior Caroline Anderson poured in seven goals. Maggie Sockness added four tallies as the Titans improved to 9-3.
Palo Alto, meanwhile, remained in the hunt with a 9-4 win over host Los Altos on Thursday night. The Vikings (8-6 overall) were led by senior captain Martine LeClerc, who scored five goals -- four coming in the opening quarter.
Goals were added by Hannah Bundy, Tara Lawrence, Tess van Hulsen and Emma Wolfe to push the Vikings to an 8-4 lead in the fourth quarter. To cap off the night, LeClerc added her final goal with 1:50 left in the game.
The Vikings played one of their all-around best games of the season against long-time nemesis Los Altos. This was the third meeting of four this season between the two teams. Paly has won the first three.
In PAL Ocean Division action, Kaelen Dunn scored six goals for Menlo School in a 15-6 victory over host San Mateo. The Knights (4-1, 5-4) also got three goals each from Audrey Flower and Esmee Morris while grabbing an 8-2 halftime lead.
In boys' water polo action, Bret Pinsker tallied four goals but it wasn't enough as visiting Palo Alto dropped decision to Los Altos in SCVAL De Anza Division action. The Vikings (3-2, 5-4) fell to third place and now trail unbeaten Mountain View and once-beaten Los Altos.
The Monta Vista at Gunn match was not reported.
In PAL Ocean Division action, a slow start kept Priory from its first win on Thursday at San Mateo. The Panthers fell, 13-12, despite outscoring the Bearcats, 10-7, in the final three quarters. Senior Houtan Bozorghadad and Freshman Scotty Harris tallied their first scores of the season with two goals each while captains Kyle Walden and Mike Schembri had four apiece for the Panthers (0-5 league).