Menlo School boys hold off Bellarmine in water polo OT


If it hasn't already, the balance of power in boys water polo apparently has shifted from Division I of the Central Coast Section to Division II. Cases in point:

Division II Sacred Heart Prep knocked off Division I St. Francis on Wednesday and Division II Menlo School toppled Division I Bellarmine on Friday.

The Menlo-Bellarmine showdown matched the three-time defending CCS Division I champion Bells and last year's CCS Division II runner-up Knights. As expected, it was close as Menlo pulled out an 11-10 overtime victory on a goal by James Thygesen

in the second extra period.

Menlo (15-1) struck first in the nonleague match in San Jose with two goals from senior center Nick Bisconti, who finished with five.

"This was an especially good win for us," said Bisconti. "Many times this season we've been down by a few goals and found a way to come back and win. Today we were the team ahead near the end and we held on. It's great we're able to know how to win in both situations."

Menlo senior goalie Spencer Witte once again anchored the team defense with 15 saves, many of which were, according to Menlo head coach Jack Bowen, "game saving."

"Spencer continues to perform at a national level as a goalkeeper," Bowen continued, "though a big part of that is due to the defense in front of him."

Five players had steals for the Knights, with Bisconti and senior Andreas Katsis leading the team with three each. Katsis and junior Chris Xi both had two assists on the offensive end of the pool, with Katsis adding two goals.

In the past 15 years, Menlo and Bellarmine have played each other eight times, each team winning four games. The Knights now lead in the series.

Menlo now takes its gaudy record into Saturday's rematch with Campolindo in the Knights' pool at 3 p.m. Campo is the only team to beat Menlo this season, in overtime.

"We are really excited," Menlo junior Chris Xi said of facing Campo. "We've been working hard as we know Campolindo has and it will be great to see how much we've improved as a team."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo School Athletics

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