North-South tourney offers top water polo talent in nation


Harvard-Westlake is regarded as the No. 1 boys water team in America. The Wolverines are No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division I rankings and captured the recent S&R Tournament and California State High School Championships earlier this season.

Mater Dei is regarded as the No. 2 boys polo squad in the country. The Monarchs are ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section and finished second to Harvard-Westlake at the S&R and California State tournaments this season.

Both teams are entered in this weekend's ninth annual North-South Challenge, being hosted by Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo-Atherton. Harvard-Westlake is the No. 1 seed from Southern California and Mater Dei is No. 2.

Mater Dei, however, has won the North-South the past four years -- including a victory over Harvard-Westlake in last year's championship match. Clearly, pride will be on the line for both schools as the head into the weekend.

"Harvard-Westlake is the best team in the country right now and Mater Dei is Mo. 2," acknowledged Sacred Heart Prep coach Brian Kreutzkamp. "So, yes, those two are on a collision course to play for first place.

"The tournament is the best high school tournament in the country this season, and we are looking forward to seeing how we stack up to the top programs in Southern California."

Mater Dei will play its first two matches at Sacred Heart Prep on Friday while Harvard-Westlake will be at Menlo-Atherton. In fact, the host Bears (seeded No. 8 in the North) have the unenviable task of opening against the Wolverines on Friday at 12:40 p.m.

Harvard-Westlake (18-0) is coming off a 14-5 dunking of Loyola (Los Angeles) in a Mission League match Tuesday. Loyola (14-4) is No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division I rankings.

Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School are the other local entrants this weekend. The Gators are seeded No. 1 in the North with the Knights No. 4. Should they win their openers on Friday, they'll meet in the quarterfinals at 6:05 p.m.

SHP and Menlo have never faced each other in this tournament.

The winner of Friday's quarterfinals most likely will face Mater Dei in Saturday's semifinals. That's where SHP suffered its only loss in last year's tourney on the way to a third-place finish. The Gators also finished third in 2008 while Menlo took third in 2006.

"Our goal is to make the final four of all tournaments we play in and that is our goal again his weekend," said Kreutzkamp, whose team lost only to Harvard-Westlake at the S&R Tournament in Irvine two weeks ago while taking third. "It is great preparation for us as we move into the WCAL and CCS playoffs over the next few weeks."



At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 1 -- Mater Dei vs. Davis, 10:30 a.m.

Game 3 -- Miramonte vs. Agoura, 11:35 a.m.

Game 5 -- Villa Park vs. Sacred Heart Prep, 12:40 p.m.

Game 7 -- Laguna Beach vs. Menlo School, 1:45 p.m.

Game 9 -- Game 1 loser vs. Game 3 loser, 2:50 p.m.

Game 11 -- Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 3:55 p.m.

Game 13 -- Game 5 loser vs. Game 7 loser, 5 p.m.

Game 15 -- Game 5 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 6:05 p.m.

At Menlo-Atherton

Game 2 -- Campolindo vs. Cathedral Catholic, 10:30 a.m.

Game 4 -- Loyola (LA) vs. Acalanes, 11:35 a.m.

Game 6 -- Harvard-Westlake vs. Menlo-Atherton, 12:40 p.m.

Game 8 -- Huntington Beach vs. St. Francis, 1:45 p.m.

Game 10 -- Game 2 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 2:50 p.m.

Game 12 -- Game 2 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 3:55 p.m.

Game 14 -- Game 6 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 5 p.m.

Game 16 -- Game 6 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 6:05 p.m.


At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 17 -- Game 11 loser vs. Game 15 loser, 9 a.m.

Game 19 -- Game 12 loser vs. Game 16 loser, 10:10 a.m.

Game 21 -- Game 11 winner vs. Game 15 winner (semifinal), 11:20 a.m.

Game 23 -- Game 12 winner vs. Game 16 winner (semifinal), 12:30 p.m.

Game 25 -- Game 17 loser vs. Game 19 loser (7th place), 1:40 p.m.

Game 27 -- Game 17 winner vs. Game 19 winner (5th place), 2:50 p.m.

Game 29 -- Game 21 loser vs. Game 23 loser (3rd place), 4 p.m.

Game 31 -- Game 21 winner vs. Game 23 winner (1st place), 5:20 p.m.

At Menlo-Atherton

Game 18 -- Game 10 loser vs. Game 14 loser, 8 a.m.

Game 20 -- Game 9 loser vs. Game 13 loser, 9:10 a.m.

Game 22 -- Game 10 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 10:20 a.m.

Game 24 -- Game 9 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 11:30 a.m.

Game 26 -- Game 18 loser vs. Game 20 loser (15th place), 12:40 p.m.

Game 28 -- Game 18 winner vs. Game 20 winner (13th place), 1:50 p.m.

Game 30 -- Game 22 loser vs. Game 24 loser (11th place), 3 p.m.

Game 32 -- Game 22 winner vs. Game 24 winner (9th place), 4:10 p.m.


South: 1, Harvard-Westlake; 2, Mater Dei; 3, Loyola; 4, Huntington Beach; 5, Laguna Beach; 6, Agoura; 7, Cathedral Catholic; 8, Villa Park

North: 1, Sacred Heart Prep; 2, Campolindo; 3, Miramonte; 4, Menlo School; 5, St. Francis; 6, Acalanes; 7, Davis; 8, Menlo-Atherton

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by San Diagan
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 23, 2014 at 11:55 am

Where are the other San Diego teams? No Coronado, Bishop's, or Carlsbad?

Like this comment
Posted by Keith Peters
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm

There are no other San Diego teams in the tournament. A lot depends on each school's schedule and the ability to travel, etc.

Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 23, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Coronado traditionally plays in the Memorial Tournament hosted by Bellarmine (next weekend). Bishops has played in the NSC in the past. Carlsbad had come to play in Menlo's Roche Tournament in the past.

They can only take 8 teams from each region...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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