SHP, Menlo boys split in North-South water polo tourney


By Keith Peters

Palo Alto Online Sports

It was a mixed bag of results for the Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School boys' water polo teams as both dropped their openers in the annual North-South Challenge, but bounced back with victories in the second round. Palo Alto wasn't as fortunate.

Matched up against teams from Southern California in the opening on Friday, Sacred Heart Prep dropped a tough 9-8 decision to Laguna Beach, the No. 1-ranked Division III team in the CIF Southern Section.

Kyle Koenig, Zach Churukian and Bret Hinrichs all scored two goals for the Gators, who actually held a 7-5 lead in the third quarter after back-to-back goals by Koenig and Hinrichs. Laguna Beach trimmed the margin to 7-6 at the end of the quarter but SHP's Max McKelvey scored on a counter with 5:15 to play in the fourth and it was 8-6.

That lead didn't last long as Laguna Beach scored two quick goals to tie and then the winner with just 1:16 left to play.

Sacred Heart (12-9) bounced back with an 8-4 win over Carlsbad later in the day at Sacred Heart Prep. Harrison Enright poured in five goals while Koenig added another pair. Junior goalie Will Runkel made 22 saves after having 20 stops in the opener.

Sacred Heart Prep will play Acalanes on Saturday at Palo Alto High at 11:30 a.m. The winner will face the Menlo-St. Francis winner for ninth place, also at Paly, at 4:10 p.m.

Menlo (13-3) reached Saturday's third round after dropping a 12-5 opener to Loyola (Los Angeles) and bouncing back with a 17-8 romp over Soquel of Santa Cruz, both at Paly.

Senior Nick Hale scored all five goals in the loss to Loyola and added three goals in the lopsided win over Central Coast Section rival Soquel. Senior Brad Haaland led the way against Soquel with five goals, while Josh Godfrey added three.

Had Menlo won its opener, the Knights would have played Mater Dei, arguably the No. 1 prep team in America.

Palo Alto (11-6) lost its opener to Agoura, the No. 1-ranked Division IV team in the CIF Southern Section, 12-4. The Vikings then took on a tough St. Francis (Mountain View) team and dropped a 16-9 match.

Paly will play Soquel at 8 a.m. on Saturday in the Vikings' pool. The winner will play for 13th place at 1:50 p.m.



At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 1 -- Miramonte 10, Carlsbad 3

Game 3 -- Laguna Beach 9, Sacred Heart Prep 8

Game 5 -- El Toro 17, Davis 6

Game 7 -- Los Alamitos 12, Acalanes 5

Game 9 -- Sacred Heart Prep 8, Carlsbad 4

Game 11 -- Miramonte 12, Laguna Beach 9

Game 13 -- Acalanes 16, Davis 7

Game 15 -- El Toro 10, Los Alamitos 3

At Palo Alto High

Game 2 -- Mater Dei 19, Soquel 6

Game 4 -- Loyola (LA) 12, Menlo School 5

Game 6 -- Villa Park 15, St. Francis 13

Game 8 -- Agoura 12, Palo Alto 4

Game 10 -- Menlo School 17, Soquel 8

Game 12 -- Mater Dei 17, Loyola 4

Game 14 -- St. Francis 16, Palo Alto 9

Game 16 -- Agoura 12, Villa Park 10


At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 17 -- Laguna Beach 8, Los Alamitos 7

Game 19 -- Loyola 13, Villa Park 9

Game 21 -- El Toro 15, Miramonte 6 (semifinal)

Game 23 -- Mater Dei 18, Agoura 8 (semifinal)

Game 25 -- Los Alamitos 15, Villa Park 10 (7th place)

Game 27 -- Laguna Beach 12, Loyola 8 (5th place)

Game 29 -- Miramonte 10, Agoura 7 (3rd place)

Game 31 -- Mater Dei 12, El Toro 5 (championship)

At Palo Alto High

Game 18 -- Palo Alto 13, Soquel 6

Game 20 -- Carlsbad 15, Davis 6

Game 22 -- St. Francis 10, Menlo School 5

Game 24 -- Acalanes 9, Sacred Heart Prep 8

Game 26 -- Davis 20, Soquel 12 (15th place)

Game 28 -- Carlsbad 9, Palo Alto 4 (13th place)

Game 30 -- Sacred Heart Prep 8, Menlo School 6 (11th place)

Game 32 -- St. Francis 9, Acalanes 8 (9th place)

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