Right now, it appears the Sacred Heart Prep boys water polo season will end with Friday night’s season finale against visiting WCAL rival Valley Christian in a nonleague contest.
It’s bad luck that the Gators may not get a chance to win another Central Coast Section Open Division title this year since they’ve been able to turn back all challenges this season, including a second victory over a top NorCal team on the road Thursday.
Five different players scored two goals to lead SHP past host Miramonte, 10-4, in Orinda. The Gators (12-0) remain undefeated heading into tonight’s match against the Warriors, arguably the second-best team in the section.
The Gators will be honoring their seniors, a class that has only been able to compete in two section championship games during their high school career.
Paradoxically, SHP has won a CCS title every year beginning in 2011. The team shared the 2018 title with Bellarmine when the championship game was cancelled due to air quality concerns from fires in Northern California.
After dominating CCS Division II for six consecutive years, the Gators won the inaugural Open Division title in 2017, when Griff Price became the first freshman under coach Brian Kreutzkamp to start in the goal.
In a time that has been anything but normal, SHP has remained remarkably consistent, continuing its water polo play at the highest level.
The Gators’ record will come with an asterisk this season. It’s the first time since 2011 that SHP has recorded fewer than 23 wins in a year.
Travel restrictions prevented the Gators from traveling to prestigious tournaments in Southern California and it forced the cancellation of its North-South Challenge.
Of course, every school has had to make adjustments this year. But not every school was coming off a CCS title in which it did not have a senior on the roster.
Against Miramonte, Luke Weigle, Isaac Rotenberg, Gavin West, Will Swart, and Jake Tsotadze each scored twice, while Michael Heller, Andrew Plaschke, Jack Vort and Tsotadze was each credited with an assist.
Price and Wyatt Stenson combined on eight saves for a .667 save percentage.
Girls water polo
Ashley Penner scored twice but Sacred Heart Prep fell to host Miramonte, 10-5, in its season finale on Thursday.
Alexandra Szczerba, Ella Woodhead and Brienz Lang also scored for the Gators, who finished with an 8-2 overall mark.
Zander Darby hit a solo home run in his first at-bat, sparking a six-run rally in the first inning of a 13-2 victory over visiting Homestead in a nonleague game Thursday.
Colin Thibault pitched a six-hitter for the Vikings (2-0), who play at Valley Christian on Friday afternoon.
Darby finished with three hits, scored three runs, and drove in two. Ben Wingard and Dominic DeFeo each added a pair of RBIs.
Following Darby’s solo shot to center field, Henry Bolte singled, Aidan Berger was hit by a pitch and Ritter Armsbaugh followed with a RBI single. Berger and Armsbaugh both scored as a result of errors on the play.
In a Peninsula Athletic League Lake Division game, host Priory beat South Asan Francisco, 13-5, and produced a seven-run rally in the first inning.
Thomas Screven had three hits, scored three times and drove in a run for the Panthers (2-0). Western Battles also had three hits and drove in a pair of runs.
Tommy Leong, Ronin Park, and Adam Collins each added two RBIs.
Leong and Andrew Dodson shared pitching duties, combining to strike out five in five innings.
Gunn won its fourth straight contest, beating host Los Altos, 3-0, in SCVAL De Anza Division play Thursday.
Sophomore Emma Listgarten connected on a corner from senior Morgan Cianfichi to open the scoring midway through the first half.
The Titans (5-3-2) added to their lead in the second half with a goal from Annah Turner. Senior Haley Parrett completed the scoring. Goalkeeper Julia Dellenbach recorded four saves.
Earlier in the week, Gunn won at home against Santa Clara 2-0. Goals were by Cianfichi and Sawyer McKenna, both assisted by junior Elina Saab-Sundén.
Gunn hosts Los Gatos for Senior Night on Tuesday.
Malone Lohman scored five goals and assisted on three others in helping host Menlo-Atherton open the season with an 18-6 victory over Sequoia on Thursday.
Nico Arizini and Paul Mills each added four goals for the Bears, who travel to play Los Gatos in a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League contest Saturday afternoon.
Kevin Shvodian and Ethan Lindahl combined for 12 saves in the net.
Brindha Jaeger recorded 17 saves but it wasn’t enough as Gunn fell to host St. Francis, 14-1, in its season opener Thursday.
The Titans play at Menlo-Atherton on Saturday.
Gunn No. 1 singles Evan Huynh and No.3 singles Isaac Wong each won matches but the Titans fell to host Los Gatos, 4-3, in a SCVAL match Thursday.
The No. 3 doubles team of Nolan Wingard and Michael Liang also won for Gunn. which hosts Fremont on Thursday.
Palo Alto, which opened Tuesday with a 4-3 loss to host Los Altos, had its match with Santa Clara postponed.
Mihir Menon in singles and the doubles teams of Beckett Annes and Yash Shetty and Nicholas Federici and Ayush Singh produced wins against the Eagles.
Emma Foster and Alana Stull each had three hits and drove in three runs to help Castilleja beat host Harker, 15-3, in a West Bay Athletic League game Thursday.
Bella Monslave added two hits and three RBIs and winning pitcher Sophie Lenz recorded a pair of hits and two RBIs. Raveena Lele added three hits, including a double for the Gators (2-1, 1-1).