Sacred Heart Prep boys off to a 2-0 start in prestigious tourney


Sacred Heart Prep assured itself of no worse than a fourth-place finish in the 10th annual North-South Water Polo Challenge following a pair of two-goal victories during the opening rounds Friday in Atherton.

The Gators (14-3) opened with an 8-6 win over Laguna Beach as junior Jackson Enright tallied four goals and senior Finn Banks added a pair. Junior goalie JC Marco came up with 22 saves to spark the defensive effort.

After holding a 4-2 lead, the Gators maintained a two-goal lead at 6-4 on a goal by Banks and 7-5 on one by Enright. SHP moved ahead by 8-5 with 5:33 remaining in the match on a goal by Enright.

In the second round, it was all Banks in a 9-7 victory over Loyola. He scored seven goals with Marco solid in the cage once again with 20 saves. SHP took the lead for good at 5-4 on a goal by Banks with 22 seconds left before halftime. Freshman Andrew Churukian made it an 8-4 lead with 2:48 remaining in the third period.

The two wins moved the Gators into the semifinals on Saturday (11:20 a.m.) against Mater Dei. In the other semifinal, defending champ Harvard-Westlake will meet Huntington Beach at 12:30 p.m.

A victory by SHP will move the Gators into the championship match at 5:20 p.m., in the Gators' own pool, while a semifinal loss means a berth in the third-place match at 4 p.m.

Menlo School opened with a 21-8 loss to Huntington Beach, but rebounded nicely with a 10-7 win over Acalanes in the second round at Menlo-Atherton High.

Senior James Thygesen and sophomore Jayden Kunwar each tallied three goals against Huntington Beach. Thygesen and freshman Sam Untrecht had three goals apiece against Acalanes, which had handed Menlo a 13-8 loss in an earlier tournament.

"This is just a great win for us," said Menlo head coach Jack Bowen. "We have put in a lot of work over the past month and lost some very competitive games against top teams along the way. I'm really proud of the way this team has worked and come together this past month."

Junior goalie Tiago Bonchristiano, who did not play in the previous match against Acalanes, came up with 16 saves along with a game-high four assists.

Menlo needs two wins on Saturday to finish ninth in the 16-team field. Menlo-Atherton, which lost twice on Friday, needed two victories on the final day to finish 13th, but dropped a 15-10 decision to Acalanes on Saturday morning.


Friday at Sacred Heart Prep

Game 1 -- Sacred Heart Prep 8, Laguna Beach 6

Game 3 -- Loyola 11, Davis 3

Game 5 -- Mater Dei 19, St. Francis 6

Game 7 -- Miramonte 9, Agoura 8

Game 9 -- Davis 10, Laguna Beach 6

Game 11 -- Sacred Heart Prep 9, Loyola 7

Game 13 -- St. Francis 9, Agoura 8

Game 15 -- Mater Dei 14, Miramonte 8

Friday at Menlo-Atherton High

Game 2 -- Huntington Beach 21, Menlo School 8

Game 4 -- Dana Hills 10, Acalanes 7

Game 6 -- Harvard-Westlake 17, Menlo-Atherton 4

Game 8 -- Cathedral Catholic 11, Campolindo 9

Game 10 -- Menlo School 10, Acalanes 7

Game 12 -- Huntington Beach 12, Dana Hills 4

Game 14 -- Campolindo 12, Menlo-Atherton 9

Game 16 -- Harvard-Westlake 16, Cathedral Catholic 7

Saturday at Sacred Heart Prep

Game 17 -- Loyola 11, Miramonte 7

Game 19 -- Cathedral Catholic 11, Dana Hills 7

Game 21 -- Mater Dei 16, Sacred Heart Prep 5

Game 23 -- Harvard-Westlake 12, Huntington Beach 6

Game 25 -- Miramonte 11, Dana Hills 10 (7th place)

Game 27 -- Loyola 11, Cathedral Catholic 6 (5th place)

Game 29 -- Huntington Beach 15, Sacred Heart Prep 6 (3rd place)

Game 31 -- Mater Dei 11, Harvard-Westlake 10 (1st place)

Saturday at Menlo-Atherton High

Game 18 -- Acalanes 15, Menlo-Atherton 10

Game 20 -- St. Francis 7, Laguna Beach 6

Game 22 -- Campolindo 11, Menlo School 8

Game 24 -- Davis 9, Agoura 4

Game 26 -- Laguna Beach 7, Menlo-Atherton 6 (15th place)

Game 28 -- Acalanes 12, St. Francis 9 (13th place)

Game 30 -- Agoura 14, Menlo School 7 (11th place)

Game 32 -- Davis 6, Campolindo 5 (9th place)

— Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online Sports

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