Quests begin anew for CCS water polo titles


By Keith Peters

Palo Alto Online Sports

The 2010 Central Coast Section playoffs in water polo was a special one for local teams as the Menlo-Atherton and Sacred Heart Prep girls joined the Menlo School boys in capturing titles.

Duplicating that championship finish could be a bit tougher in two weeks.

While the Division II boys' bracket looks to be a rematch between Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School and the Sacred Heart Prep girls look to be favored to win a fifth straight Division II section title, the other two divisions are up for grabs.

The Division I boys' bracket features No. 1 seed St. Francis (19-5) and No. 2 Bellarmine (17-9), with third-seeded Menlo-Atherton (13-11) perhaps the only other team with a legitimate shot at preventing an all-West Catholic Athletic League finale on Nov. 19.

The Bears are led by veteran coach Dante Dettamanti, who took over the program only for this season. With obligations on the horizon, his players would like to send him off with another title. Dettamanti won his first section crown in 2003, his first and only season at Sacred Heart Prep.

The Division I girls' bracket, meanwhile, is also loaded with St. Francis (19-6) holding the No. 1 seed and Leland (21-5) the No. 2. Third-seeded Gunn (20-6) and No. 4 Menlo-Atherton (13-11) have outside shots, but would have to eliminate both the Lancers and Chargers for an all-public school finale.

There are plenty of interesting scenarios as the CCS playoffs prepare to get under way Tuesday.

Palo Alto (15-12) received the No. 6 seed and will open at home against No. 11 Pioneer (13-14) at 7 p.m. Seventh-seeded Gunn (15-12) will take on No. 10 Lynbrook (15-9) at Los Gatos High at 5:30 p.m.

Should both Paly and Gunn advance, their quarterfinal matchups will be tough ones. The Vikings would play No. 3 Menlo-Atherton (13-11) and the Titans would face Bellarmine. Upset victories by Paly and Gunn would mean a showdown between the local rivals in the semifinals.

Paly and Gunn just played each other for third place in the SCVAL De Anza Division Tournament with the Titans pulling out a 15-14 victory in sudden death. The teams were tied after every quarter, including both three-minute overtime periods. Gunn freshman Ari Wayne finally ended it with the winning goal in the third extra period.

Wayne's brother, sophomore Coby, scored the final two goals in regulation to tie the match at 12 and force overtime. Gavin Kerr led Gunn with five goals.

The girls' Division I playoffs, meanwhile, get under way Wednesday with No. 7 Palo Alto (14-11) hosting No. 10 San Benito (15-10) at 7 p.m. The Vikings are coming off a third-place finish at the SCVAL De Anza Division Tournament.

The Vikings need a victory to earn a quarterfinal date with Leland. Also on Saturday, Gunn and Menlo-Atherton will begin their title quests.

The Division II boys' competition has Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep written all over it. The two have dominated the division during the past eight years with each team winning four times, and everything points to yet another matchup of these teams in the final.

The Gators (16-10) are the No. 1 seed and on a roll after beating St. Francis (9-7) and Bellarmine (14-12 in overtime) to win the West Catholic Athletic League playoffs on Saturday night.

Menlo (16-8) is the No. 2 seed. The Knights will play the winnere of No. 7 Aptos and No. 10 Burlingame while SHP will take on No. 8 Sobrato or No. 9 Carmel.

Always-dangerous Los Altos (18-5), the SCVAL De Anza Division Tournament champion, is seeded No. 3 and likely will face Menlo on the semifinals. Soquel is the No. 4 seed and in SHP's bracket, but is no means as difficult as either St. Francis or Bellarmine.


Division I

First round (Tuesday, Nov. 8)

No. 7 Gunn (15-12) vs. No. 10 Lynbrook (15-9) at Los Gatos High, 5:30 p.m.

No. 5 Mountain View (20-7) vs. No. 12 San Benito (17-7) at Carmel High, 5:30 p.m.

No. 11 Pioneer (13-14) at No. 6 Palo Alto (15-13), 7 p.m.

No. 8 Serra (10-15) vs. No. 9 Monta Vista at Los Gatos High, 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals (Saturday, Nov. 12)

Pioneer-Palo Alto winner vs. No. 3 Menlo-Atherton (13-11)

Lynbrook-Gunn winner vs. No. 2 Bellarmine (17-9)

San Benito-Mountain View winner vs. No. 4 Leland (22-4)

Monta Vista-Serra winner vs. No. 1 St. Francis

Division II

First round (Tuesday, Nov. 8)

No. 11 Willow Glen (9-11) vs. No. 6 Valley Christian (14-9) at Aptos High, 5:30 p.m.

No. 12 Terra Nova (16-3) vs. No. 5 Mitty (9-14) at Palo Alto High, 5:30 p.m.

No. 10 Burlingame (10-6) at No. 7 Aptos, 7 p.m.

No. 8 Sobrato (14-7) at No. 9 Carmel (15-9), 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals (Saturday, Nov. 12)

Willow Glen-Valley Christian winner vs. No. 3 Los Altos (18-5)

Burlingame-Aptos winner vs. No. 2 Menlo School (16-8)

Terra Nova-Mitty winner vs. No. 4 Soquel (15-8)

Carmel-Sobrato winner vs. No. 1 Sacred Heart Prep (16-10)


Division I

First round (Wednesday, Nov. 9

No. 11 Santa Clara (15-8) vs. No. 6 Pioneer (15-7) at Los Gatos High, 5:30 p.m.

No. 12 Sequoia (9-2) vs. No. 5 Mitty (17-5) at Aptos High, 5:30 p.m.

No. 10 San Benito at No. 7 Palo Alto (14-11), 7 p.m.

No. 9 Santa Teresa (16-11) at No. 8 Los Gatos (15-9), 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals (Saturday, Nov. 12)

Santa Clara-Pioneer winner vs. No. 3 Gunn (20-6)

San Benito-Palo Alto winner vs. No. 2 Leland (21-5)

Sequoia-Mitty winner vs. No. 4 Menlo-Atherton (13-10)

Santa Teresa-Los Gatos winner vs. No. 1 St. Francis (19-6)

Division II

First round (Tuesday, Nov. 8)

No. 7 Valley Christian (12-10) vs. No. 10 Sobrato (10-9) at Los Gatos High, 4 p.m.

No. 8 Santa Cruz (11-16) vs. No. 9 Santa Catalina (19-7-1) at Carmel High, 4 p.m.

(Wednesday, Nov. 9)

No. 6 Presentation (16-10) vs. No. 11 Mercy-Burlingame (17-0) at Palo Alto High, 5:30 p.m.

No. 12 Castilleja (8-12) vs. No. 5 Soquel (20-6) at Aptos High, 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals (Saturday, Nov. 12)

Santa Catalina-Santa Cruz winner vs. No. 1 Sacred Heart Prep (21-5)

Castilleja-Soquel winnere vs. No. 4 Burlingame (13-9)

Sobrato-Valley Christian winner vs. No. 2 Los Altos (17-7)

Mercy-Burlingame/Presentation winner vs. No. 3 St. Ignatius (16-11)

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