Sports

North-South Challenge a tough water polo test

SHP, Menlo boys split opening round

It was a tough opening day for local boys water polo teams at the fifth annual North-South Challenge on Friday at the Sacred Heart Prep and Palo Alto High pools.

Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School both lost their openers, but bounced back with second-round wins while Palo Alto dropped both of its matches. The Vikings made it an 0-3 start by falling to Los Altos, 19-13, on Saturday morning.

Sacred Heart Prep (11-6) opened with a 13-7 loss to Bishop's School of La Jolla, the top-ranked team from San Diego. The Gators fell behind by 7-1 at halftime before finally getting untracked in the second half. After Bishop's pulled its starters, SHP made a run and cut its deficit to 12-7, forcing Bishop's to pull its reserves and insert the starters once again.

Senior Philip Bamberg scored twice for SHP. He added four goals in a 14-7 second-round win over Villa Park, the No. 10-ranked team from Orange County. SHP senior Robert Dunlevie poured in five goals while sophomore goalie Will Runkel came up with 13 saves.

Sacred Heart Prep took on Acalanes in a Saturday morning third-round match, with a victory earning the Gators a shot at ninth place. SHP finished fifth in this tourney last season.

Menlo School (12-5) was dunked in its opener, 18-5, by Murrieta Valley. That dropped the Knights into the consolation field where they handed host Palo Alto a 16-8 loss. Menlo took on Los Alamitos in a third-round match Saturday, with a chance to play for ninth place. Menlo finished 10th last season in this event.

The championship will be played at Sacred Heart Prep at 5:20 p.m. Semifinal teams included defending champ El Toro, Loyola, Mater Dei and Bishop's School.

NORTH-SOUTH CHALLENGE

Friday

At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 1 -- Mater Dei 16, Davis 2

Game 3 -- Dos Pueblos 14, Acalanes 8

Game 5 -- Bishop's School 13, Sacred Heart Prep 7

Game 7 -- St. Francis 10, Villa Park 7

Game 9 -- Acalanes 11, Davis 9 (OT)

Game 11 -- Mater Dei 15, Dos Pueblos 6

Game 13 -- Sacred Heart Prep 14, Villa Park 7

Game 15 -- Bishop's School 10, St. Francis 7

At Palo Alto High

Game 2 -- Miramonte 11, Los Alamitos 9

Game 4 -- El Toro 15, Los Altos 5

Game 6 -- Murietta Valley 18, Menlo School 5

Game 8 -- Loyola 22, Palo Alto 6

Game 10 -- Los Alamitos 12, Los Altos 10

Game 12 -- El Toro 15, Miramonte 9

Game 14 -- Menlo 16, Palo Alto 8

Game 16 -- Loyola 9, Murrieta Valley 7

Saturday

At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 17 -- Dos Pueblos 7, St. Francis 6

Game 19 -- Murrieta Valley 12, Miramonte 10

Game 21 -- Mater Dei 12, Bishops School 6 (semifinals)

Game 23 -- El Toro 10, Loyola 9 (semifinals)

Game 25 -- Miramonte 10, St. Francis 4 (7th place)

Game 27 -- Dos Pueblos12, Murrieta Valley 11 (5th place)

Game 29 -- Loyola 8, Bishop's 5 (3rd place)

Game 31 -- Mater Dei 11, El Toro 10 (championship)

At Palo Alto High

Game 18 -- Los Altos 19, Palo Alto 13

Game 20 -- Villa Park 12, Davis 12

Game 22 -- Los Alamitos 8, Menlo School 7

Game 24 -- Acalanes 9, Sacred Heart Prep 6

Game 26 -- Davis 16, Palo Alto 8 (15th place)

Game 28 -- Villa Park 19, Los Altos 17 (13th place)

Game 30 -- Sacred Heart Prep 10, Menlo 8 OT (11th place)

Game 32 -- Los Alamitos 9, Acalanes 5 (9th place)

Past champions

2009 -- El Toro

2008 -- Villa Park

2007 -- Miramonte

2006 -- El Toro

Girls water polo

Menlo-Atherton (12-6) defeated defending CCS Division I champion St. Francis, 7-4, in a nonleague test on Friday in the Lancers' pool. The victory avenged a 7-6 loss to the Lancers in the Amanda MacDonald Invitational.

The Bears got a season-high four goals and three steals from Emily Grant and 12 goalie saves from Emily Dorst, plus an outstanding defense that blanked St. Francis in the first half. Dorst came up with a lot of saves on 6-on-5 situations and point-blank shots.

In another nonleague match Friday, visiting Sacred Heart Prep (17-1) got four goals from Pippa Temple and three each from Emily Parsons and Erin Sheridan in a 16-5 dunking of host Menlo School, which got four goals from senior Hailey Smith.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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