As always, this water polo season for the Sacred Heart Prep girls is all about improving and getting ready for the Central Coast Section championships. The Gators made some big strides in that direction with a pair of important nonleague victories on Saturday.
In a rare doubleheader in a non-tournament setting, Sacred Heart Prep held off Leland, 10-9, in overtime and then came back to topple North Coast Section power Monte Vista (Danville), 5-3.
The win over Leland was especially nice since the Chargers had beaten St. Francis earlier in the week in overtime.
"For sure," said SHP coach Jon Burke. "Leland is good and has two very strong athletes in Murphy and Nolan. Their goalkeeper is pretty dominant as well.'"
The Gators fell behind by 3-1 in the first quarter before tallying four goals in the second to deadlock the match at 5.
"The rest of the game we were trading goals," Burke explained. "In OT, we had a couple of key stops on their timeout plays. (Maddie) Casciaro hit the game-winner off one of our timeouts with 24 seconds remaining in regulation OT to give us the go-ahead goal."
Casciaro, a senior, led the Gators (13-2) with three goals with seniors Pippa Temple and Clare Rudolph adding two. Temple also tallied twice, as did senior Erin Sheridan in the victory over Monte Vista as the Gators won their 11th straight.
Girls' cross country
Priory senior Kat Gregory ran a solid 18:17.66 over the 2.93-mile layout at Crystal Springs in Belmont while finishing eighth overall at the Crystal Springs Invitational on Saturday. She averaged a 6:12 mile pace. Julia Wood of Castilleja was 38th in the girls' varsity race in 19:57.80. Nikki Hiltz of Aptos won the race in 17:03.76.
Boys' water polo
Sacred Heart Prep finished off a 2-2 performance for 11th place at the S & R Sport Tournament that wrapped up Saturday at Irvine High in Southern California.
The Gators (9-7) dropped a 9-5 decision to SoCal power Harvard-Westlake in the consolation semifinals, but bounced back with a 9-7 victory over Jesuit (Sacramento) in the final round.
Michael Holloway had a pair of goals against Harvard-Westlake with Bret Hinrichs tallying four goals against Jesuit. Junior goalie Will Runkel had 14 saves in the first match and 21 in the second.
In nonleague action, Menlo-Atherton split a pair of matches. The Bears held off Palo Alto, 9-7, on Friday, but dropped a 13-7 decision to visiting San Ramon Valley on Saturday.
Morgan Olson-Fabbro tallied six goals in the two matches for the Bears (9-7), who next will visit Menlo School on Wednesday in a showdown for first place in the PAL Bay Division at 4 p.m.