Otto Meyers ran up to Menlo-Atherton boys water polo coach Brandon Johnson after helping the Bears beat visiting Woodside, 17-10, Wednesday and wanted to make sure of something.
"So I can't play with the junior varsity?" No, you can't. "Can I at least hang out with them?" Yes, of course. With that, Meyers jumped back into the pool with his former teammates, who were preparing for their own match.
Meyers was brought up to replace junior goalie Noah Smith, one of the better goalkeepers in the section, who is injured.
Meyers turned in a solid game for the Bears (3-1, 9-8), who solidified their hold on third place in the PAL Bay Division.
Menlo knocked Carlmont around, 21-4, to all but clinch the regular-season title and the top seed in the PAL tournament, which begins Oct. 24.
The Knights (5-0, 17-0) have one league match remaining. M-A, which played for the first time in two weeks, has two league games left and seven overall, including a match with Bellarmine.
Half Moon Bay (3-0, 7-8) has a chance to win the title outright, but has three games left, beginning with Menlo-Atherton next Wednesday, Hillsdale on Oct. 17 and ending with Menlo two days later.
"We have to take care of our league games and Bellarmine is important for seeding when it comes to the CCS," Johnson said. "We're also in a tournament where we'll see teams from Southern California."
The Bears have plenty of offense but do seem to struggle defensively without Smith. It just comes down to chemistry. Meyers held his own, giving up several point blank shots.
The Wildcats (0-5, 3-8) held a 4-2 lead with 5:19 remaining to play in the second quarter before M-A shook off the rust of its two-week layoff and went on a 7-1 run.
"After not playing it was what I expected," Johnson said. "We stuck with it and started putting awayour chances."
The first six M-A goals were each scored by a different player. In all, eight different players netted a goal for the Bears.
Nicholas Caryotakis, part of the Stanford water polo club team that won the 16U national Junior Olympics in July, led M-A with five goals.
"He just sees the play," Johnson said. "He's coachable and understands things right away."
Ilia Dzotsenidze added three goals while Chris Lobdell, Henry Marks and Hugo McMillan each added a pair.
Lobdell was particularly effective in making steals that turned into points for himself and teammates.
Giorgio Fatica led Woodside with four goals and Levi Vigdorechik added three.
Sam Untrecht scored five goals in the Knights victory over Carlmont while Jayden Kunwarand Noah Housenbold each added four. Miller Geschke added three goals and Ben Rosenblatt recorded a team-high seven saves.
WCAL leader Sacred Heart Prep (5-0, 8-3) topped host Valley Christian (2-2, 14-4), 22-7, in a league game Wednesday.
Jackson Enright and Walker Seymour each scored four goals to pace the Gators. Alex Tsotadze added three as 11 different players recorded at least one goal.
Girls water polo
Sacred Heart Prep took care of business with a 12-4 victory over Valley Christian on Wednesday.
Maddy Johnston scored five goals and Maddie Pendolino added four for the Gators (5-0, 10-5), who are in first place in the West Catholic Athletic League.
The Gators return to Miramonte on Saturday for a pair of nonleague games against San Ramon Valley at 10 a.m. and Campolindo at 2 p.m.
Woodside knocked Menlo-Atherton out of its share of first place Wednesday, beating the Bears, 4-3, in a PAL Bay Division match.
Mina Sealund scored late in the game to power the Wildcats (3-1, 6-8). Kaia Anderson, Ella Heald and Taylor Leier also scored.
Sophomore goalie Maya Srinivasan made the difference, turning away several shots.
Annabelle Paris scored twice for the Bears (3-1, 8-4), who could climb right back into a share of the lead when they travel to Castilleja (4-0, 10-4) next Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Minhee Chung scored four times and Kenzie Macdonald and Anika Adzich each added a pair as Castilleja dumped visiting Mercy Burlingaeme, 13-3, to move into sole possession of first place. Georgia Lewis added eight saves in goal.
Also in the PAL Bay, Menlo defeated visiting Carlmont , 7-5, after trailing at halftime.
"The girls took a deep breath at halftime and refocused on the goals we set earlier that week," Menlo coach Alana Burgess said. "We just focused on solid press defense and smart offense. I think we did a great job in the second half at sharpening up our fundamentals and playing smart. "
Annie Bisconti posted a hat trick and added two assists to pace the attack. Sarah Donato pitched in with a goal and two assists. Gillian Bressie recorded eight saves.
The Knights hold a 3-2 mark (7-7 overall) with one game remaining, against Castilleja at home on Oct. 19.
Menlo School won a showdown between two of the top teams in the section and moved closer to clinching the West Bay Athletic League title after its 200-215 victory over Harker on Wednesday at Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club.
Menlo assistant coach Tom Hitchcock "and I were treated to some wonderful individual shots and holes and we were both very proud of everyone on our team," Knights coach Jim Miller said. "We are proud of the effort, good sportsmanship and the team chemistry."
With the win, Menlo improves to 8-0 in league play and sits in first with four games remaining; Harker is tied for second, with Castilleja, at 6-2.
Junior Sophie Siminoff recorded an outstanding round of 4-under-par 32 to take home medalist honors on a course difficult to play.
She hit the ground running with her first three shots going for par, birdie, birdie. Siminoff hit 8 of 9 greens in regulation in a round which concluded with a 60-yard hole out for eagle on No. 9.
"She can really go low because her proximity to the hole can be outstanding," Miller said. "She is an excellent putter who adapts well to different greens and green speeds."
Freshman Gianna Inguagiato holed three nice birdie putts and shot a solid round of 1-under 35, which included back-to-back birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, and a finishing birdie on the par-5 ninth hole.
"Gianna was extremely focused and she did a very good job of managing her game and playing smart," Miller said.
Freshman Vikki Xu finished with a pitch in on No. 8 for a par and a solid par on 9 for a 43. Fellow freshman Sulwen Ma shot a 44 . Senior Lauren Yang shot a 46 and freshman Kendall Weingart shot a 59.
Elsewhere in the WBAL, Sacred Heart Prep beat Notre Dame Belmont, 212-259, at Popular Creek GC as Cami Steppe shot a 37 to earn medalist honors.
She was followed by Lauren von Thaden at 42, Caroline Park at 43, Sinead Haley and Maia Granoski each at 45 and Danielle Sarkisian at 51.