Bonchristiano comes up big in Menlo's tournament victory


Tiago Bonchristiano recorded 36 saves on Saturday to lead the Menlo School boys' water polo team to its second tournament title in as many weeks.

The Knights (12-0) beat De La Salle, 9-0, in the semifinals of the St. Francis NCS-CCS tournament and then topped San Ramon Valley, 14-7, in the championship game.

Menlo, off to its best start in years, also beat the Wolves in the finals of the Scott Roche Invitational last week.

The Knights travel to Menlo-Atherton on Wednesday for an important Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division match against the Bears (2-0, 7-5) at 5 p.m. M-A has a nonleague match Tuesday at Campolindo.

Menlo grabbed the early lead against San Ramon Valley, which beat Bellarmine, 9-8, in triple overtime to advance. The Knights, with Sam Untrecht leading the way, took a 5-2 advantage in the first period and never looked back.

“This team works so hard together and we also have a lot of fun together,” said Menlo goalkeeper Ben Rosenblatt, who played both second halves on Friday. “It’s just a really fun team to be on.”

It's more fun when everything is clicking. Untrecht scored four goals, Jayden Kunwar recorded three assists and center defender Miller Geschke made four steals. Add Bonchristiano to the recipe and everything spells success.

“I’m just really proud of this group of young men for the way they play and the way they carry themselves,” Knights coach Jack Bowen said.

Ben Wagner scored three goals for Menlo, with Geschke, Scott Little and Niko Bhatia added two each and Connor Enright also scored.

The Knights shut down De La Salle with a combination of Bonchristiano and a strong defensive effort. Untrecht and Little combined to score five of the nine goals against the Spartans. Noah Housenbold, Enright, Kunwar and Wagner also scored.

At Harvard-Westlake, Sacred Heart Prep finished 2-3 at the Elite Eight tournament. The Gators (7-5) lost, 14-9, to Mater Dei in the semifinals, and 9-3, to Huntington Beach in the third-place contest on Saturday.

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