The St. Charles Preparatory School water polo team hit its stride at the right time.
Senior utility player Andrew Hoffman scored 11 goals in the state championship game Oct. 26 at Mason, and the Cardinals edged Cincinnati St. Xavier 17-13 to win their first state title since 2011 and third in four seasons.
“We were going through a tough stretch (before the postseason) and we just had to dig in and figure out what we needed to do,” said St. Charles coach Geoff Gear, whose team finished 23-11.
Hoffman had 23 goals in the Cardinals’ three state tournament games.
St. Charles, the third-seeded team from the Ohio Water Polo-North Region, defeated defending state champion Upper Arlington 16-11 and Thomas Worthington 13-11 on Oct. 25 to advance to the final.
Thomas lost to Toledo St. Francis 11-10 in the third-place game Oct. 26. UA took fifth, routing Mason 18-4.
Among area girls teams, Upper Arlington defeated Napoleon 17-7 in the third-place match. The Golden Bears were seeking their fourth consecutive state championship and 14th overall.
Toledo St. Ursula beat Thomas 15-14 in the fifth-place game. Mason took the championship, topping Cincinnati Sycamore 11-7 in the final.