The victories gave the Patriots a 19-3 record overall, and Heritage began the week with a perfect 6-0 record against Bay Valley Athletic League opponents.
The Patriots opened the tournament with a 21-3 victory over Hercules, a game in which nine different players found the net. Carter Haines scored seven goals, while John Palazzotto contributed five. Goalkeeper Ty Elder was responsible for eight saves.
In the next round, Heritage toppled Marin Academy 8-2. Zayd Othman and Walker Thaning scored two goals apiece; Blaine Fitzpatrick and Elder (five saves) led the defense.
The Patriots then nearly doubled up Berkeley in an 11-6 victory. Heritage rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the first period, tying it up at four at the halfway mark. Palazzotto scored five goals in the third period to give his team a commanding lead. The Patriots’ reserves, led by Brandon Rylee, Patrick Townsend and Chris Buckman, kept the Yellowjackets at bay to finish the game.
Elder finished with 13 saves.
In the championship match, Heritage emerged victorious over host Pinole Valley 11-8. The Patriots held a 4-2 lead after one period and led 7-4 at halftime. Thaning netted five goals, Palazzotto three and Carter Haines two. Ty Elder made 10 saves.
Palazzotto scored 16 goals in the tournament – tops on the Heritage team.
East County will be well represented at Monday’s North Coast Section Tournament of Champions. Two BVAL teams and two BVAL individual athletes will compete with the best of the section at Las Positas Golf Course in Livermore.
While Liberty’s ticket was already punched with its league title, Deer Valley earned a trip after placing eighth in the NCS Qualifier at Franklin Canyon Golf Course in Hercules. Taylor Coover led the Wolverines, carding an 82. Cristina Gonzalez shot an 89 for Deer Valley. The Wolverines tied with Acalanes for eighth place.
Heritage’s Megan Conder, who claimed the individual BVAL Tournament title, was the best golfer from a non-qualifying team, finishing with an impressive 75 on her scorecard. Andrea Neilson of Freedom placed fourth among athletes from non-qualifying teams, shooting a 79.
Mission San Jose’s score of 405 earned it the overall championship.
Freedom, which recently swept the Bell Game series against Liberty, hosts the Falcon Night Lights tennis challenge on Friday night.
The event will raise funds for new windscreens and showcase the new lights above the school’s tennis courts. A clinic for young athletes in kindergarten through eighth grade will be conducted from 4 to 5:30 p.m. From 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., members of the Freedom tennis team and alumni will play challenge games against players from the public.
For more information, e-mail Steve Amaro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Compiled by Staff Writer Justin Lafferty