Sports

Castilleja defends its WBAL golf tournament title

Castilleja continued its success in the West Bay Athletic League by defending its league tournament title on Wednesday at Poplar Creek Golf Course in San Mateo.

The Gators already had earned a berth into Tuesday's Central Coast Section girls' golf tournament at Rancho Canada East in Carmel Valley by winning the WBAL's round-robin title.

Thus, Wednesday's victory was a mere tuneup for Castilleja and the Gators used it well by registering an 18-stroke victory (430-448) over rival Sacred Heart Prep in the 18-hole event.

Junior Chloe Sales led Castilleja with a 7-over 78. Kristine Lin of Harker won individual honors with a 76 and earned an automatic berth into the CCS finals. Jessie Rong of Menlo School finished second with a 77 and most likely earned an at-large berth.

Team and individual at-large berths will be decided at a CCS meeting tonight.

Jessica Koenig of SHP also put herself in position to possibly earning one of 23 available at-large berths by shooting an 80. Four teams, meanwhile, will receive at-large berths.

Junior Danielle Mitchell of Castilleja finished fifth with an 83 while her twin sister, Nicole, tied for sixth with an 86. Cami Steppe of SHP and Lauren Yang of Menlo tied for eighth with 89s.

Boys water polo

Sacred Heart Prep earned no worse than a co-championship in the West Catholic Athletic League following an 18-8 dunking of host St. Francis on Wednesday evening. The Gators moved to 5-0 in league (16-2 overall) while the Lancers dropped to 2-3 (6-12).

SHP has one league match remaining, against host St. Ignatius next Wednesday. The Wildcats (4-1) fell into a tie for second with Bellarmine (5-1), which concluded its WCAL season with a 14-7 win over SI on Wednesday.

Two factors helped SHP against St. Francis as the Lancers were without their starting goalie and concentrated on stopping senior Harrison Enright, who was limited to one goal. SHP's Nelson Perla-Ward took advantage of being left open by scoring seven goals.

"We had a balanced attack and SF did a great job of double-teaming Harrison Enright," said SHP coach Brian Kreutzkamp. "That gave Nelson a lot of good looks."

Michael Swart added four goals and Will Conner three for SHP, which had seven players find the scoring column.

"Overall, we were balanced in our scoring and we are hard to stop when we play that way," Kreutzkamp said. "We are trying to carry this momentum into this weekend's North-South Challenge, which will be our toughest test of the season."

In the PAL Bay Division, host Menlo School had 10 players score in a 19-2 romp over Aragon. Andreas Katsis led the first-place Knights (8-0, 17-2) with five goals with Chris Xi adding three as Menlo clinched no worse than a co-championship with two league matches remaining.

Menlo will host SoCal power Coronado tonight (7 p.m.) in a nonleague match before hosting San Ramon Valley on Friday (2:45 p.m.) in a homecoming match.

Elsewhere in the PAL Bay Division, host Menlo-Atherton remained in second place following a 22-4 dunking of Sequoia. Alex Hakanson and Matt Baszucki each tallied four goals for the Bears (6-2, 10-6) with John Knox, Jace Blazensky and Evan McClelland adding three each.

Girls water polo

Menlo-Atherton clinched no worse than a co-championship in the PAL Bay Division with a 9-4 win over visiting Sequoia on Wednesday. The Bears (8-0, 13-5) were led by Jessica Heilman's four goals. M-A can clinch an outright title by beating Aragon next Wednesday.

In the WCAL, Sacred Heart Prep lost an opportunity to virtually wrap up the league crown following a tough 12-11 loss to unbeaten St. Francis in Mountain View.

The Gators (4-1, 14-5) grabbed an 8-6 lead against the Lancers (5-0, 17-0) before things fell apart.

"We made a few mistakes early in the third quarter and lost momentum," said SHP coach Jon Burke. "They're a good team, so we weren't able to capitalize on them.

"Overall, I am really proud of the girls and how they competed. We showed a lot of improvement and character and put ourselves in a position to win. We hope to see them again in the WCAL finals on November 9."

St. Francis got the game-winning goal from Courtney Batcheller with just 49 seconds to play. SHP held an 11-9 after a goal by Caitlin Stuewe, before the Lancers rallied behind goals from McKenna Yates and a 5-meter penalty shot by Batcheller to tie, setting up Batcheller's winning shot.

Girls tennis

Menlo School won its 14th straight match with a 7-0 romp over host Crystal Springs in WBAL Foothill Division action Wednesday in Hillsborough. The Knights improved to 7-0 in the division (17-1 overall) while winning their 205th straight league match, an ongoing state record.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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