Sacred Heart Prep established itself as one of the top boys water polo teams in the nation by winning the S&R Sport Tournament at UC Irvine, beating host Foothill 13-6 on Saturday in the championship game.
The Gators (12-2) finished second in the Elite Eight Invitational in Palisades Park last month, losing (twice) only to champion Oaks Christian.
SH Prep senior goalie Alexander Nemeth was the de facto MVP of the tourney, as he came up big on Saturday, recording 13 saves against Foothill and eight in a 14-8 victory over Corona del Mar in the semifinals.
Nemeth held both teams to a combined shooting percentage of .280. Sacred Heart Prep shot it at a .519 clip.
The Gators host Menlo School (12-3) at 7 p.m. in a nonleague game on Tuesday. The game features two of the top goalies in the Central Coast Section as well as several players who were teammates on the two-time defending Junior Olympic champion U16 Stanford club team.
Against Foothill, SH Prep scored the game's first two goals within 67 seconds of each other. Larsen Weigle, who finished with four goals on six shots, opened the scoring with an even-strength goal 1:05 into the first period. Andrew Churukian gave the Gators a 2-0 lead with a goal set up by Michael Sonsini.
The Knights eventually tied the game at 3 on a penalty shot with 39 seconds left in the period but SH Prep had a response.
Churukian drew an exclusion that led to a Weigle power-play goal with six seconds remaining in the period.
Foothill tied the score at 4-all but the Gators put the game out of reach as Alex Tsotadze scored all four of his goals over a five-minute span that put Sacred Heart Prep up, 9-4. Tsotadze also recorded three assists.
The Knights scored on a penalty shot with less than a minute to play in the first half. Nemeth was whistled for a foul, a call that led to a yellow card on SHP coach Brian Kreutzkamp for his vocally aggressive defense of Nemeth.
It hardly mattered. Foothill was held to a single goal in the second half.
Walker Seymour added a goal and Churukian scored twice to put the Gators ahead, 12-5, with just over five minutes to play.
Weigle and Nemeth each recorded a pair of steals in the contest.
After Corona del Mar scored the first goal of the semifinals, Sacred Heart Prep scored the next five goals to take control. Weigle, Seymour and Churukian combined for 11 goals while Chris Rowland, Sonsoni and Tsotadze each scored once.
Menlo-Atherton beat Gunn, 16-2, on Friday and then came back to beat Palo Alto, 15-2, on Saturday.
Nik Caryotakis scored five times in the win over Gunn. Andy Maxwell and Chris Lobdell each scored four goals.
The Bears (12-5, 3-1) host Hillsdale in a PAL Bay Division game at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Girls water polo
PAL Bay Division leader Castilleja won two of three games played Saturday at the Clovis Invitational.
The Gators (13-4, 5-0) beat St. Mary's, 9-6, and Clovis North, 12-8, and lost to Acalanes (14-1), 14-6.
Castilleja hosts Burlingame at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Madison Lewis scored nine goals on the day, five against St. Mary's and three against Clovis North. Minhee Chung and Claire Pisani each added three against Clovis North and Lexi Triantis had a pair.
Other scorers on the day included Anjali Kambham, Jui Steffen and Jashee Yang.
Menlo-Atherton beat College Park, 8-2, in a nonleague game. The Bears (6-4, 1-1) host Aragon in a PAL contest at 5 p.m. Wednesday.