The Central Coast Section boys’ and girls’ water polo tournaments kicked off Saturday and a couple of local teams were involved in a pair of barnburners.
In the boys’ Open Division, No. 3 Menlo School outlasted No. 6 St. Francis, 12-11. On the girls’ side, No. 7 Aragon upset No. 2 Sobrato 10-9 in the Division II bracket.
Menlo started the match strong, building a 5-3 lead midway through the second period before the Lancers rallied and trailed 8-7 at halftime.
The Knights scored the first three goals of the third period to lead 11-8 going into the fourth and hung on as St. Francis outscored them 3-1 over the final seven minutes.
“I’m really proud of the heart of this team,” Menlo School head coach Jack Bowen said in an email. “We bounced back from a tough, four-goal loss to St. Francis from just two weeks ago and were willing to make some big changes and then come back and fight for a win.”
Sam Untrecht led the Knights with five goals, while Connor Enright, Greg Hilderbrand and Connor MacMitchell each scored twice. Jack King led Menlo with three assists and contributed a goal while goaltender Josh Poulous finished with six saves.
Menlo (19-11) moves into the semifinals with the victory and will face second-seeded Bellarmine (18-10) at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart Prep. The Bells beat No. 7 Mountain View 19-3.
Unlike Menlo, which worked from ahead, the Aragon girls’ had to rally to advance to the Division II semifinals. The Dons (14-11) trailed 3-1 after one period and were down 7-6 at halftime. Sobrato held a 9-7 lead going into the fourth before Aragon shut out the Bulldogs over the final seven minutes, while finding the back of the net three times to pull out the victory.
Ruby Vogel’s only goal closed the Dons’ gap to 9-8, before Maria Sell scored the game-tying goal with about two minutes to play and then scored the game-winner off an assist from goaltender Hannah Flynn with under 30 seconds to go.
Sell, once again, led the Aragon offense, finishing with six goals. Grace Simenc, Maddie Dobbs, Vogel and Holly Fletcher rounded out the scoring for the Dons with a goal each. Dobbs added a game-high four assists, while Fynn came up huge in the cage, finishing with 14 saves.
Aragon will now face No. 3 Saratoga (23-3) in a semifinal match at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Homstead High School.
In other girls’ action, top-seeded Menlo School (18-9) advanced to the Division II semifinals with a dominating 17-4 win over No. 8 Gilroy. The Knights will take on No. 4 Aptos at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Homestead High. Aptos beat No. 5 Harker 11-4 to advance.
In the Open Division, No. 3 Sacred Heart Prep (21-7) was pushed but eventually prevailed for an 8-6 win over No. 6 Los Gatos. The Gators will host No. 2 Soquel (23-4) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a semifinal match. Soquel moved on with a 17-1 win over No. 7 Valley Christian.
In the Division I bracket, No. 8 Woodside (12-10) saw its season come to an end with a competitive 6-4 loss to top-seeded Los Altos.
In other boys’ action, top-seeded Sacred Heart Prep (25-2) cruised into the semifinals of the Open Division with a 17-7 win over No. 8 Soquel. The Gators will host No. 4 Valley Christian at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Warriors topped fifth-seeded St. Ignatius 9-5 to advance. Woodside (19-8) also saw its season come to an end as second-seeded Los Gatos beat the seventh-seeded Wildcats, 7-3.
In the Division I bracket, No. 3 Palo Alto dumped No. 6 Menlo-Atherton (11-14), 8-7. In the Division II bracket, top-seeded Santa Cruz ended the season for Mills (18-5), 11-7.