The logjam in the SCVAL De Anza Division boys' water polo race is beginning to loosen, thanks to a pair of results that knocked one of three teams out of first place on Thursday.
While the day began with Palo Alto, Gunn and Mountain View all tied for first place, it ended with just Gunn and Mountain View holding on to a share of the top spot.
The Titans (3-0, 5-5) remained in first with a 20-8 romp over visiting Monta Vista while the Spartans knocked the Vikings off the top rung with a 15-13 triumph.
Gunn senior Ari Wayne took care of the Matadors all by himself as he scored a career-high 11 goals in the one-sided affair.
The Titans raced to a 12-4 halftime lead as Calder Hilde-Jones finished with three goals and Quinn Hamilton had two. Goalie Anthony Zunino had 12 saves for Gunn.
Palo Alto (3-1, 4-5) suffered a tough loss at Mountain View and still has to face the Spartans once and the Titans twice. Thus, this race is far from over.
The Vikings are back in the pool on Friday and Saturday at the St. Francis Invitational (formerly NCS-CCS Challenge). Paly takes on Las Lomas at St. Francis High at 2 p.m. Defending champion Sacred Heart Prep (2-0) opens against Monte Vista (Danville) at 3 p.m. Across the Bay, Menlo School (6-0) will face Redwood (1 p.m.) in an opening-round match at Acalanes High.
Girls water polo
Palo Alto remained in the thick of the SCVAL De Anza Division race with a 13-10 overtime victory over host Mountain View on Thursday.
Senior captain Tess van Hulsen and junior Gigi Rojahn led Palo Alto to a 6-3 halftime score as both players scored three times. Rojahn finished with four tallies for the match. The Vikings (3-1, 4-4) pushed their lead to 9-5 after three periods.
Mountain View, however, scored five times in the fourth quarter to tie the match and send it to overtime. In the first of two extra periods, van Hulsen scored to give Paly an 11-10 lead while the defensive efforts of Alina Drebin and Izzy Kelley blanked the Spartans.
In the second OT, Kelley made it 12-10 and van Hulsen scored her sixth goal to wrap things up. Paly's goalie duties were honors were shared by Katie Francis and Claire Drebin.
Palo Alto will be back in the pool this weekend at the 20th annual Amanda MacDonald Invitational at Menlo School and Woodside. The Vikings will open on Friday against Granite Bay at Woodside at 3:15 p.m.
Menlo School will open at home on Friday against No. 1 seed St. Francis at noon.
The Knights (1-1, 3-4) got their first victory in PAL Ocean Division action, a 16-2 drubbing of San Mateo at Hillsdale High on Thursday. Freshman Parker Callender and senior Audrey Flower led Menlo with three goals each. Freshman goalie Gillian Bressie came up with 10 saves for the Knights.