Just imagine a Gunn vs. Menlo-Atherton matchup in the Central Coast Section girls' water polo final. Or a Menlo-Sacred Heart Prep rematch for the boys' Division II crown. Or the Palo Alto boys and Sacred Heart Prep girls playing for section titles. It could all happen.
Each and every one of those teams, however, has to win one more match to set up those scenarios. Those matches will be Tuesday and Wednesday in the section semifinals.
A showdown between Gunn and Menlo-Atherton for the Division I title on Saturday is possible, just not likely based on the seeds. The No. 3 Titans (21-6) have to beat No. 2 Leland (22-5) on Tuesday night in the Gunn pool (7 p.m.) for the Titans to reach their first-ever section finale.
Leland advanced by eliminating Palo Alto, 12-6. Leland also eliminated Gunn in the 2009 section quarterfinals.
Gunn reached its second semifinal in as many years with an 11-4 victory over No. 6 Pioneer on Saturday at St. Francis High. Senior Elizabeth Anderson scored five goals, giving her 136 this season, while sister Caroline added four.
Fourth-seeded Menlo-Atherton (14-11) is hoping to defend its section title this Saturday, but first needs to beat top-seeded St. Francis (20-6) on Tuesday, also at Gunn, at 5:30 p.m. The Bears and Lancers have met in each of the past three CCS title match that were decided by one goal, with two of them going into overtime. M-A won last year's section crown, 6-5.
The Bears advanced to the semifinals with a 16-11 dunking of No. 5 Mitty on Saturday at Sacred Heart Prep. Senior Marie Popp scored a season-high seven goals while senior Danielle Flanagan added four to pace the Bears, who got nine saves from goalie Sierra Sheeper. M-A overcame a 6-5 halftime deficit by scoring four unanswered goals in the fourth period.
In girls' Division II, top-seeded Sacred Heart Prep (22-5) remains solidly in position for a possible fifth straight CCS title following an 18-3 dunking of No. 9 Santa Catalina on Saturday in the Gators' pool. Senior Erin Sheridan tallied five goals to pace SHP.
Sacred Heart should have no problem reach the title match as the Gators will face No. 4 Burlingame (14-9) on Wednesday at Gunn at 7 p.m. The Panthers were the second-place team in the PAL Bay Division. The Gators should advance and face either No. 3 St. Ignatius or No. 2 Los Altos for the title.
The Palo Alto boys, meanwhile, pulled the surprise of the Division I bracket by eliminating No. 3 Menlo-Atherton, 5-4, at Sacred Heart Prep on Saturday. The Bears, who missed a crucial penalty shot, finished 13-12, likely ending coach Dante Dettamanti's prep coaching career. Dettamanti reportedly is heading to New Zealand to coach.
The No. 6-seeded Vikings (17-12), meanwhile, held a CCS opponent to just four goals for the second straight match. Will Conner tallied two goals while Nelson Perla-Ward, Aaron Zelinger and Bret Pinsker all added solo tallies, with Zelinger and Perla-Ward adding assists. Perla-Ward also had seven steals.
Paly next will take on No. 2 Bellarmine (18-9), which eliminated Gunn in the quarterfinals, 18-6. The Vikings and Bells will play Wednesday at Serra High at 5:30 p.m.
In Division II, it should be another Menlo-Sacred Heart Prep finale on Saturday. The No. 2-seeded and defending champion Knights (17-8), however, must first get by a tough No. 3 Los Altos (19-5) team in the semifinals on Tuesday at Serra at 7 p.m.
In the earlier semifinal at Serra (5:30 p.m.), top-seeded Sacred Heart Prep (17-10) will take on No. 4 Soquel (16-8) in a match the Gators should win.
Harrison Enright scored three goals for SHP in a 14-8 quarterfinal win over No. 9 Carmel on Saturday while Menlo senior Brad Haaland tallied six goals in a 15-2 quarterfinal win over host and No. 7 seed Aptos.
2011 CCS BOYS' WATER POLO
Gunn 18, Lynbrook 8
Palo Alto 14, Pioneer 4
Mountain View 16, San Benito 7
Serra 10, Monta Vista 9
Palo Alto 5, Menlo-Atherton 4
Bellarmine 18, Gunn 6
Leland 10, Mountain View 6
St. Francis 16, Serra 6
Semifinals (Wednesday at Serra High)
No. 2 Bellarmine (18-9) vs. No. 6 Palo Alto (17-13), 5:30 p.m.
No. 1 St. Francis (20-5) vs. No. 4 Leland (23-4), 7 p.m.
Valley Christian 10, Willow Glen 4
Mitty 18, Terra Nova 4
Aptos 15, Burlingame 10
Carmel 12, Sobrato 3
Los Altos 17, Valley Christian 7
Menlo School 15, Aptos 2
Soque 13, Mitty 12
Sacred Heart Prep 14, Carmel 8
Semifinals (Tuesday at Serra High)
No. 1 Sacred Heart Prep (17-10) vs. No. 4 Soquel (16-8), 5:30 p.m.
No. 2 Menlo School (17-8) vs. No. 3 Los Altos (19-5), 7 p.m.
2011 GIRLS' CCS WATER POLO
Pioneer 11, Santa Clara 4
Mitty 20, Sequoia 4
Palo Alto 13, San Benito 11 (OT)
Los Gatos 11, Santa Teresa 7
Gunn 11, Pioneer 4
Leland 12, Palo Alto 6
Menlo-Atherton 16, Mitty 11
St. Francis 8, Los Gatos 4
Semifinals (Tuesday at Gunn High)
No. 1 St. Francis (20-6) vs. No. 4 Menlo-Atherton (14-10), 5:30 p.m.
No. 2 Leland (22-5) vs. No. 3 Gunn (21-6), 7 p.m.
Valley Christian 11, Sobrato 7
Santa Catalina 8, Santa Cruz 6
Presentation 15, Mercy-Burlingame 6
Soquel 11, Castilleja 8 (OT)
Sacred Heart Prep 18, Santa Catalina 3
Burlingame 18, Soquel 3
Los Altos 12, Valley Christian 3
St. Ignatius 3, Presentation 2
Semifinals (Wednesday at Gunn High)
No. 2 Los Altos (18-7) vs. No. 3 St. Ignatius (17-11), 5:30 p.m.
No. 1 Sacred Heart Prep (22-5) vs. No. 4 Burlingame (14-9), 7 p.m.