With the North Coast Section Division I championship game tied and time winding down, the Miramonte High boys water polo team came out of a timeout without a concrete plan in place.
So Tyler Kirchberg rose to the occasion.
The Matadors junior buried the game-winning goal with 1.53 seconds left to cap a thrilling 9-8 victory over San Ramon Valley at Acalanes High on Saturday. The win gave the top-seeded Miramonte (19-9) its second straight NCS title and 13th overall in the last 18 years.
"Jack (Fellner) and Charlie (Wiser) are the two top scoring players on our team, I thought one of them was going to take the shot," Kirchberg said. "I was open center cage and (SRV defenders) didn't come to me. The cage was open so I hit it."
The No. 3 Wolves (20-8), who were aiming for their first NCS title, tied the game twice in the final 1:36 on goals by Conor Neumann.
The wild finish was eerily similar to last year's Division I final between the Wolves and Matadors. Miramonte won that game on Wiser's sudden death goal.
Wiser, who has committed to Stanford, was also instrumental in this year's title. He scored twice and drew numerous ejections as Miramonte scored four power plays goals and twice on 5-meter penalty shots.
Fellner, a UCLA commit, led Miramonte with four goals, and Amin Anjedani scored twice on power plays. Goalie Drew Holland stopped 12 shots, including five in the final period.
Neumann led the Wolves with
Marin Catholic-Kentfield 15, Alhambra 8: Thomas Carroll scored seven goals to lead the top-seeded Wildcats (21-8) over the No. 2 Bulldogs (16-11) in the NCS Division II boys final at Acalanes.
Marin Catholic was leading 3-2 late in the first quarter when Carroll got going. He scored his first goal after a long pass from goalie Danny Fitzpatrick, beating Alhambra's Christian Bumala to the left side with 20 seconds left in the quarter. That was the second goal in a 5-0 Wildcats run that spanned the first-to-third quarters.
Carroll scored four goals in the third quarter to help push the lead to 11-4.
Michael Bull led Alhambra with four goals.
-- Damin Esper, correspondent
Girls water polo
San Ramon Valley 7, Monte Vista 1: The No. 1 Wolves frustrated their crosstown rivals with suffocating defense and got four goals from Kat Klass to win their second straight NCS Division I title at Acalanes High.
Devon Gasparini turned away 10 shots and was working on a shutout until Monte Vista's Courtney Fahey scored with 6:23 left.
San Ramon Valley (23-3), which also beat Monte Vista for the East Bay Athletic League title earlier this year, led 3-0 at halftime on goals by Klass, Casey Pond and Grace Cochran.
The Wolves outscored their three NCS opponents 44-8 on the way to the program's fifth NCS title since 1997. The Wolves and Mustangs (16-9) have combined to win NCS titles each of the last 12 seasons.
-- Stephanie Hammon
Campolindo 8, Acalanes 7: Hannah Buck got behind the Dons defense with 34 seconds to go to score the game-winning goal for the top-seeded Cougars (26-1) in the NCS Division II title match.
"It's amazing," Buck said. "It wouldn't have happened without my teammates."
No. 2 seed and host Acalanes (17-10) had fought back from a 6-1 deficit.
The Dons had tied the score 7-7 just seven seconds prior on a long shot by Megan Dietrich. The ball was partially blocked by Campolindo goalie Maddie Tagg and ended up right on the goal line. It took several seconds for the goal judge to confirm it was a goal.
Siedemann, Annika Jensen and Brooke Preston each scored two goals to lead Campolindo to its fourth victory over the Dons this season. Dietrich led Acalanes with two goals.
-- Damin Esper, correspondent
Amador Valley d. Heritage: The 11th-seeded Patriots (20-14) hung tough in the first game, but the No. 3 Dons (18-12) posted a 25-20, 25-18, 25-12 win in the NCS Division I quarterfinals.
After losing the first game, visiting Heritage built a 14-9 lead in game two. But Amador Valley scored 16 of the second game's final 20 points before it dominated the third game to move into Wednesday's semifinals against San Ramon Valley. The Dons' Marisol Tracy, Amber Wright and Brianna Day combined for 20 kills.
-- Matt Smith, correspondent