By Montana Morgan
Boys water polo looks strong as they finish up their last league games of the season. The team won their spirit game and senior day 13-9 against Milken Community High School on Oct. 27.
“We were all really pumped. There was no way we were going to lose our spirit game,so we all came out as hard as we could,” said junior Blake Range.
Senior captain Cameron Turner believes the team played an amazing game. “We did very well. We started out strong and ended even stronger. It was definitely the most intense game we have ever played,” he said.
Turner went on to say the team performed well both offensively and defensively, “Blake was definitely clutch.” Range scored 6 goals. “Slim [senior goalie Matthew Jamele] had some good blocks.We just all played really a strong game,” said Turner.
Junior captain Matty Gallas said, “We started out slow and couldn’t put away shots,but we played solid defense. In the fourth quarter we picked it up and put themaway.”
However, senior Thomas Shadden saw the game in a different light.
“Unfortunately, we have not displayed our true strength at our home games.” says Shadden. Jamele agreed, stating that the team played all right but not their absolute best.
The team’s current record is 18-7 after their big games coming up against Milken, Pasadena Poly, Flintridge and LaSalle. The boys claimed victories against Milken, Flintridge and LaSalle but fell four goals short of a win against Poly. “They are our only loss in Prep League, so if we had won that game, it would have put us in a position to finish first in league,” said Gallas. The team finished second in Prep League.
The boys are also looking forward to CIF. Last year, water polo made it to the quarter-finals, and this year they are looking towards another exceptional showing in the playoffs.
“I wouldn’t call us better or worse. We’re different this year. When we had Kurt [Buchbinder ’10] last year, we played with a more isolated offense. This year, we have a more well-rounded starting lineup. Our playing style has changed completely,” said Turner. “Our victory against Crescenta Valley, currently ranked #1 in the division, was a huge revelation to the team that we have achance to win CIF,” said Shadden.
To claim the title, Shadden says the team needs to “perform well consistently and not relax during a game, even if we are playing a team that is not at our level.”
Even Gallas admits the team has some flaws. “One of our main problems is stopping individual players. We play a lot of teams that have one or two good players and sometimes we will allow them to score the majority of their team’s goals,” said Gallas.
He continued to say that they have been working on this problem. “We’ve been working on improving individual defense to help prevent that from happening.” Turner says, “If we train hard every day, give it our best effort, and don’t get distracted, I think we can pull off a CIF title.”