Players come and players go but, evidently, not much has changed for the Sacred Heart Prep boys in water polo team when it comes to winning titles.
The Gators went 4-0 this past weekend at the 32-team St. Francis/Acalanes Invitational, that brought together many of the best teams in the North Coast and Central Coast sections.
While they had to fight for it, the Gators posted a 15-14 victory over Campolindo in the championship match on Saturday at St. Francis High in Mountain View. It was Sacred Heart Prep's third straight title in this tourney.
"I am really proud of the culture that we have created at SHP," said head coach Brian Kreutzkamp. "We have graduated a good amount of talent over the last three years, with many athletes playing at the Division 1 college level. But, with the work ethic and the value of teamwork, they have passed on to groups behind them , the culture of winning remains strong."
Senior Michael Swart scored seven goals in the title match after tallying four in an 11-4 semifinal win over Las Lomas. He finished the four-match event with 19 goals.
Sophomore goalie JC Marco had 20 saves on the final day while junior Finn Banks scored five times in those matches and sophomore Jackson Enright had four. Alex Tsotadze scored twice in the finale and fellow freshman goalie Alexander Nemeth had four saves against Campo as the Gators improved to 6-0.
"We have a great mixture of seniors and underclassman this year," said Kreutzkamp, "and they are fitting well into their roles so far this season."
SHP is seeking a fourth straight CCS Division II title this season, which achieved would be the program's eighth overall.
Menlo School, meanwhile, finished third in the St. Francis/Acalanes Invitational following a 10-7 win over Las Lomas at St. Francis. The Knights (9-1) played a 10-7 match in the semifinals, but suffered an overtime loss to Campolindo.
Menlo came down to the wire with Campolindo, leaving the score tied 7-7 in regulation. It was a display of some of the top goalkeeping in the country with Menlo's Spencer Witte and Campolindo's Spencer Tagg both collecting over 15 saves each.
In the third-place game, Menlo came out strong and went up 7-3 by the middle of the third quarter. Witte turned in another stellar performance with 18 saves.
"This is a great place to be at this point in the season," said Menlo coach Jack Bowen. "With a 9-1 record and some great wins over some very good teams, we also have a small reminder that we have a lot to work on. The guys feel really good about the success we have had but all within perspective."
Witte finished with 34 saves on the final day while Andreas Katsis had five goals and Nick Bisconti four.
Palo Alto (4-8), which won the Silver Division last season, suffered through a tough 0-4 weekend that included a 15-14 loss to Las Lomas and a 13-11 setback to Monte Vista (Danville).
Girls water polo
St. Francis won the 20th annual Amanda MacDonald Invitational on Saturday at Menlo School with a 9-7 victory over Acalanes. The Lancers were the No. 1 overall seed while Acalanes was No. 2.
Elsewhere, Palo Alto (6-6) went 2-2 on the weekend and finished seventh with an 11-10 win over Sobrato, Menlo-Atherton (5-6) also went 2-2 and settled for 10th following a 10-6 loss to Presentational, Castilleja (8-4) finished 2-2 and took 13th with a 14-8 victory over Woodside, and Menlo went 1-3 and took 15th with a 9-7 win over Half Moon Bay.
At the California Capital Challenge at Woodcreek High, Sacred Heart Prep won its opener before dropping three straight to some of the top teams in Northern California.
The Gators (9-3) fell to Miramonte, 15-13; lost to Davis, 8-2; and fell to Clovis West, 8-3; following a 13-3 drubbing of Northgate.
Junior Malaika Koshy had 12 goals to lead the Gators while Maddy Johnston tallied six and Maddie Pendolino five. Goalie Emily Riley came up with 22 saves.
Gunn finished third at the 16-team Cupertino Invitational on Saturday, winning four of five matches and losing only to eventual champion Mercy-San Francisco. The Titans (14-5) were led by seniors Jess Dinneen (37 kills), Meghan Mahoney (20 kills) and setter Nicole Brigham (75 assists).