Jake Tsotadze scored with 1:43 remaining to play, lifting Sacred Heart Prep to an 8-7 victory over Newport Harbor in the championship game of the S&R Elite 12 Invitational boys water polo tournament at Harvard-Westlake in Studio City on Saturday.
SHP senior goalie Griff Price recorded 14 saves in the contest for a .667 save percentage as the Gators let a five-goal first-half lead slip away before Tsotadze snapped the tie.
SHP beat JSerra Catholic 10-6 in the semifinals while Newport Harbor beat Harvard-Westlake 13-12 to reach the finals.
Luke Weigle’s goal with 2:49 remaining in the first half gave SHP a 6-1 advantage. The Gators (14-1) went just over eight minutes without scoring, allowing Newport Harbor to get back into the game.
The Sailors (14-4) tied the match on a penalty shot about 45 seconds into the final period. They also had three power plays in the fourth quarter but failed to convert.
Tsotadze scored his even strength goal and SHP, which held Newport Harbor scoreless in nine power plays, held on for the win.
Newport Harbor took 27 shots, 21 of them on goal, but the Stanford-bound Price was up to the challenge.
Tsotadze and Gavin West each scored three goals for SHP, with Weigle adding the other two.
Play-maker Will Swart had four assists for the Gators, who play at home against Bellarmine on Wednesday evening.
Sacred Heart Prep also meets Harvard-Westlake in a non league match Thursday at 6:30 p.m. HW beat JSerra 14-8 to earn third place in the Elite 12.
The North vs. South Invitational opens Friday at Sacred Heart Prep and Gunn.
Swart led SHP with three goals against JSerra while West added two. Harrison Rohlen, Luke Johnston, Tsotadze, Jack Vort and Luke Bachler also scored.
The Gators led 10-2 after three quarters.
Menlo School beat Monte Vista 16-12 in its homecoming game Saturday as Greg Hilderbrand scored six goals and Jack Murad scored five. Hilderbrand also recorded a team-high four assists.
Jackson Kay added a pair of goals and Finn Bryne recorded 13 saves.
The day also included a celebration of Menlo grad John Blanchette (2001) being inducted into Menlo’s Hall of Fame. The Knights, under then rookie coach Jack Bowen, won the CCS title in 2000.
Grant Morgenfeld won the individual title and Palo Alto won the team of the Clovis Invitational Large Schools division Saturday.
Morgenfeld completed the 5,000-meter course at Woodard Park in Fresno in 15:30.2.
Paly’s Eoin O’Connell placed 12th in 16:12.9 as the Vikings scored 92 points to finish ahead of second-place Torrance (132) and 24 other schools.
Mateo Fesslmeier ran 16:22.4, good for a 19th place showing and James Miller went 16:33.3 to place 26th. John Bard’s 36th place showing completed the scoring for Paly.
Los Altos was 14th with 354 points. Amir Benhagouga led the Eagles with his 37th place finish in 16:51.1, just ahead of Paly’s Kenji Tella in 16:51.5.
On the girls side, St. Francis (208 points) placed seventh and Los Altos (351) was 14th in the 19-team Championship Division.
Freshman Sabrina Zanetto led St. Francis with her 39th place finish in 18:32.6. Fiona Bodkin was Los Altos top runner, racing 19:19.0. There were 139 runners in the race.
Palo Alto placed second in the Varsity Large Division behind St. Francis Sacramento.
Junior Elizabeth Fetter won the race in 18:08.0 while Hillary Studdert was sixth in 18:44.4.
Girls water polo
St. Francis finished 4-1 at the Arroyo Grande tournament, picking up three wins on Friday and Saturday.
The Lancers (11-6) beat Garces 13-6, host Arroyo Grande 6-5 in sudden death and Buchanan 4-2.
St. Francis, which has won seven of its past eight games, travels to Valley Christian for a WCAL contest Wednesday.
Palo Alto beat Bishop O’Dowd 22-25, 25-20, 15-7 as part of the Stockton Classic, hosted by Edison, on Saturday.
Saint Francis downed O’Dowd 25-17, 25-17 and opened with a 25-13, 25-15 win over Granite Bay.
Gunn finished 2-1 at the Battle of the Bay, hosted by Menlo School, over the weekend.
The Titans beat St. Francis (Sac.) 5-1 on Friday and then beat Miramonte in a tie breaker after finishing 3-3 on Saturday.
Gunn lost 4-2 to Santa Barbara.