Prep report: Paly boys end Gunn's water polo streak | News | Palo Alto Online |


Prep report: Paly boys end Gunn's water polo streak


While Jack Anderson was raising his hand above his head preparing to take the shot, every conceivable scenario flashed through his mind, both good and bad.

"I felt everything in that millisecond," Anderson said. "I was running through anything that could happen."

Anderson turned it into the best possible result as he buried a shot in sudden death overtime to give the Palo Alto boys water polo team an improbable 10-9 victory over host Gunn in an important SCVAL match.

Paly has a home game against Harker on Tuesday while Gunn travels to Monta Vista, both gamkes are scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.

Gunn, the four-time defending SCVAL champion, had its 21-game SCVAL regular-season winning streak snapped. The last time Gunn lost a league match was to Palo Alto on Oct. 15, 2015.

The last time the Titans lost a league game to a school other than Paly was Monta Vista at the end of the 2012 season. Gunn has still won 44 of its past 45 SCVAL contests.

The Vikings (2-4, 2-2) recovered from an 8-4 deficit midway through the third period to jump back into the thick of the league race. A loss might have permanently damaged Paly's chances at a league title.

"We had to take a step back, cool off and regain our composure," Palo Alto coach Aaron Johnson said. "This was a huge win to get the season restarted and get us reenergized."

The Vikings faced a Herculean task after Gunn (4-1, 3-1) maintained its four-goal lead for most of the contest. When Jack Mallery converted a penalty shot with 4:18 remaining in regulation to put Gunn up, 9-7, it appeared the game was all but over.

As far as the Vikings were concerned, the party was just getting started.

"We had to get the offense we wanted going and get into the right defense," Johnson said. "It was nearly impossible because Gunn has a ton of talent. We kept trying to make adjustments and it went our way this time. Who knows what happens the next time."

The Titans were held scoreless over the final 12 minutes of play, akin to nearly half a game. That was as unlikely as anything.

Gunn ran into some unlucky bounces and a little bad luck but Paly put up enough resistance to get the job done.

"It was especially nice after the two games we lost we should have won," Anderson said. "This boosted our confidence. We're back in it."

Brian Cook, who scored three goals, made it 9-8 and Jarid Alash poked one home with just under a minute to play in regulation.

Both goalies came up big in overtime and the Vikings were able to take advantage of a turnover to score the game winner.

"It was huge awareness on their part," Johnson said of the game winner. "It was a couple of veteran players who came through."

It started with Matthew Nemeth stealing a pass . . .

"The best word I can use to describe it is confusion," Anderson said. "There were a couple of quick turnovers and it turned out that my guy left me uncovered."

Nemeth got the ball to Dexter Gormley, who found Anderson wide open in front of the net.

"It was a great pass," Anderson said.

At the Elite Eight tournament, Sacred Heart Prep opened with a 17-9 victory over Vista-San Diego.

The Gators (3-0) meet Loyola-Los Angeles on Saturday morning.

Andrew Churukian was spectular in recording six goals and six steals. Along with Michael Sonsini, he also had a pair of assists.

Sacred Heart Prep never trailed but needed a huge second period to pull away from the Panthers.

Churukian scored four of his goals in the period. Larsen Weigle, who had three total, also scored to help the Gators open a 9-4 halftime advantage.

Alex Tsotadze added four goals and an assist and Kyle Ballack added two goals.

Girls golf

Palo Alto earned a SCVAL victory over Gunn, 193-223, and both teams got a chance to walk the course at Santa Teresa Golf Club on Thursday.

The teams will return to the course for the league tournament on Oct. 24.

Palo Alto freshman Madison Pineda took a liking to the course, turning in a 1-over 36 to earn medalist honors. She was followed by Katherine Sung with a 37 and Stephanie Yu at 39.

Jasmine Choi added a 40 and Marina Mata went 41 to complete the scoring.

Lydia Tsai led the Titans with a 38, followed by Isla Mohan at 44.

Girls volleyball

Cate Desler had 29 kills and 11 digs in helping Sacred Heart Prep top Harker, 25-22, 25-22, 25-16, in a West Bay Athletic League contest Thursday.

Desler has 46 kills in two league matches this week for the Gators (15-3, 2-0), who travel to Mercy-San Francisco for a match Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.

Haley Martella had 43 assists, Lyndsey Johnston added 10 points on eight blocks and a pair of kills and Alexa Bartlett had 11 points on eight kills and three blocks. Caroline Caruso added 11 digs.

Menlo also took care of business in its WBAL opener, cruising to a 25-12, 25-12, 25-9 victory at Mercy-San Francisco on Thursday.

The Knights (13-3 overall) won their seventh consecutive match, and will play at Notre Dame-Belmont on Tuesday.

Menlo junior Grace King had a team-high 11 kills to pave the way against the Skippers. Senior co-captain Ashley Dreyer posted eight and junior Anna Guirogassian had five.

Senior co-captain Kristin Sellers collected 22 assists and five digs while junior Selina Xu had 11. Junior Sianna Houghton led the defense with 10 digs while senior Caroline Bradley had four aces and junior Riley Holland added three more.

Girls tennis

Menlo-Atherton improved to 3-0 in PAL Bay Division action after beating visiting Carlmont, 7-0, on Thursday.

No. 4 singles Sarah Marks played the most competitive match, beating Alyssa Nguyen, 6-2, 7-5. No. 2 singles Julia Marks swept her opponent, 6-0, 6-0.

The Bears (5-3 overall) host Hillsdale at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

In a nonleague match, Sacred Heart Prep took care of visiting Mitty, 6-1, as Melina Stavropoulos won at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-1.

The Gators (4-1) open WBAL play against Castilleja at Rinconada Park on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Great Journalism
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2017 at 9:29 am

I want to know more about this Jarid Alash, sounds like a water polo stud. Hopefully PA online will continue reporting about this individual.

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