First published in the Sept. 8 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
The Flintridge Prep varsity boys’ water polo team recently captured the second annual Poly Invitational and edged St. Francis in the championship game, 11-10.
It was a competitive match between two fine programs that saw the Wolves trail 5-2 after the first quarter and face an 8-6 deficit at halftime. Each team added a goal in the third quarter before Flintridge Prep rallied in the final quarter, outscoring SFHS 3-1 to claim an 11-10 victory and the tournament title.
“They definitely have some flamethrowers on St. Francis and we just tried to lock down their shooters for the most part. It was hard for us to do that in the first half,” said Flintridge Prep head coach Andrew Phillips, whose team entered this week with a spotless 8-0 record. “Trying to disrupt their avenue for success was our goal; how well could we get in the way and make life a little bit less comfortable on their end.”
Senior Noah Corral, who was named tournament MVP, collected three goals while senior Henry Brookbanks also posted three goals while being named to the All-Tournament team.
“Noah has been around the sport for a very long time and he’s probably one of the strongest kids in the pool,” Phillips said. “He has great game IQ, great leadership IQ and he really cares about making the people around him better.”
The Wolves finished pool play by routing La Serna High of Whittier, 13-2. Corral lead the team with five goals, Brookbanks tallied four goals and senior goalie John Bennett registered 18 saves.
Flintridge Prep picked up a pair of wins on the first day of tournament play, finishing with a 15-12 win over Burroughs High of Burbank. Corral registered a team-high four goals, while senior Ty Young and sophomore Elliot Oakes each scored three goals.
The Wolves opened the tournament with a dominant 13-2 rout over South Pasadena earlier on Friday. Corral recorded five goals, while senior Michael Gamboa, senior Aidan Grimm, sophomore Ridley Tolleson and Young each recorded a pair of goals. Meanwhile, Bennett notched 10 saves in the cage. In a rematch with visiting South Pasadena, Flintridge Prep dominated with 16-4 victory in the nonleague game on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
For the second time in three days, the Flintridge Prep varsity boys’ water polo team defeated St. Francis High School in a nonleague game last Monday. The Golden Knights sought to even the season series after losing the Poly Invitational title game over the weekend, but the Wolves swam away with a 14-10 victory to remain undefeated.
Flintridge Prep’s Oaks opened the scoring with 6:41 remaining in the first quarter before teammate Young made it 2-0 with just under two minutes remaining. St. Francis had five shots on goal in the quarter, but great defense by Bennett, who finished with a game-high 11 saves, denied the Golden Knights of any goals.
“John Bennett has always been a crucial part of our defense,” Phillips said. “He came up big against San Marino, he came up big in the tournament and he really turned up today.”
Flintridge Prep sophomore Charlie Simonian and Brookbanks each posted four goals, Young and Corral each scored a pair of goals, and Gamboa had one goal.
St. Francis faced a 2-0 deficit in the second quarter and after two scoreless minutes, senior Noel Gutierrez, who finished with three goals in the matchup, found the back of the cage to make it a 2-1 game. The Golden Knights and the Wolves briefly battled for the lead before Simonian scored from the yellow to make it a 4-3 game. It was the only lead of the game for St. Francis, which fell behind by two or more goals for the remainder of the match after Simonian added a second goal from the red with 2:15 remaining before halftime.
The second half was dominated by St. Francis senior Jason Alietti, who scored five of his game-high six goals in the third and fourth quarters. Unfortunately, the Golden Knights suffered a string of ejections in the final quarter that allowed Flintridge Prep to pile up four goals to secure the victory. SFHS sophomore Donovan Esquivel added a goal in the third quarter to round out the Golden Knights’ scoring. St. Francis head coach Carlos Ponce declined to comment on his team’s performance at the end of the game.
Flintridge Prep previously traveled to San Marino and won a nonleague game, 10-8, on Thursday, Aug. 25, after winning its season opener against visiting Arcadia, 14-11, on Aug. 24.
The Wolves will return to the water this weekend when it competes in the two-day Malibu Tournament on Friday, Sept. 9, and Saturday, Sept. 10.
The Panthers lost a nonleague game to visiting Burbank, 17-7, last Friday. Teddy Rountree-Shtulman paced the offense with three goals and one assist, while Theodore Kratter added a pair of goals and two steals. Nathan Tu tallied one goal and one steal, and Peter Ryan recorded five steals and one goal. Malcolm Villaverde posted one assist, Roy Otamura notched one assist, and August Tonthat had eight saves.
Poly previously defeated visiting Glendale Hoover, 15-8, in a nonleague rematch last Tuesday, as Kratter posted five goals and one steal and Rowan Cahill produced five goals. Tonthat finished with 10 saves for a third straight match, Rountree-Shtulman registered two goals and one steal, Ryan notched one goal and one assist, and Villaverde recorded one goal and one assist. Tu collected five assists, two steals and one goal, while Bobby Hall had one steal
The Panthers hosted their second annual Poly Invitational, finishing tournament play with a 2-1 record. Poly concluded with a dominant 16-5 victory over La Serna High of Whittier, but head coach Sean Grab said the match didn’t count because La Serna fielded a junior varsity team. Tu collected four goals and five steals, Kratter produced four goals and three steals and Rountree-Shtulman tallied four goals, four steals and two assists. Ryan registered two goals, three steals and two assists, while Cahill posted one goal and one steal. Tonthat had 10 saves, Villaverde recorded three steals and one assist, and Hall finished with one steal and one assist.
The Panthers finished pool play earlier with an 11-5 victory over Hoover, as Kratter produced five goals, two steals and two assists. Tu finished with two goals, four steals and one assist, while Ryan tallied two goals, one steal and one assist. Rountree-Shtulman collected one goal, one steal and one assist, Villaverde recorded one goal and one assist, Cahill had one steal and one assist, and Tonthat notched 10 saves.
Poly ended the first day of pool play by narrowly losing to St. Francis, 17-15, despite Kratter amassing six goals, five steals and one assist. Hall registered three goals and one steal, Cahill tallied three goals and Ryan collected two goals and one steal. Rountree-Shtulman produced one goal and two assists, Tonthat finished with eight saves and Tu had one assist.
The Panthers opened tournament play by routing La Cañada, 12-4. Kratter finished with three goals and four steals, while Cahill collected three goals and one steal. Ryan notched two goals, one steal and one assist, Rountree-Shtulman produced two goals and three steals, and Villaverde recorded one goal, two steals and one assist. Tu tallied one goal and two steals, Tonthat registered six saves and Hall had three steals.
Poly (3-2 overall) will host Temple City in a nonleague game on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 3:30 p.m.
The La Salle varsity squad recently opened the season by winning the Blue Ribbon Bracket at the two-day Corona Tournament last weekend.
La Salle defeated Lakeside High of Lake Elsinore, 18-14, in their tournament finale on Saturday, as senior Isaac Culver amassed nine goals, six steals and one block. Senior Quinn Nevell posted three goals, freshman Tanner Borowitz recorded two goals, one block, five assists and five steals, and junior Ryan Rivard finished with two goals, eight assists and three steals. Senior Luca Yurchak registered one goal and one assist, and senior Gus Gladstein produced two steals and one block. Senior Dustin Goei collected three saves and two steals, while Sophomore Brady Goei tallied two saves
Earlier that day, the Lancers dominated Notre Dame High of Riverside, 16-4, as Culver registered four goals, seven steals, one assist and one block. Dustin Goei amassed eight saves, Borowitz produced four goals, three assists and five steals, and Nevell posted three goals and one assist. Luca Yurchak collected one goal and three steals, freshman Eldred Hou logged one goal and one steal, senior Miguel Del Rio notched one goal and one steal and Rivard recorded one goal, three assists and four steals. Brady Goei tallied three saves, Gladstein had two steals, senior Sascha Yurchak finished with one steal, and sophomore Zachary Cote and freshman Valentine Marquez had two and one assists, respectively
La Salle closed the first day of tournament play with a decisive 21-10 victory over Paramount on Thursday as junior Sam Zhang posted five goals, one block, one assist and one steal. Culver finished with five goals, five steals, three assists and one block, Borowitz collected three goals, three assists and three steals, and Nevell tallied three goals. Rivard registered two goals, seven assists and seven steals, Luca Yurchak notched one goal, one assist and two steals, and Cote produced one goal and one steal. Brady Goei and Dustin Goei recorded six and five saves, respectively, Hou had one assist and junior Maddox An logged one steal.
The Lancers opened tournament play by routing Savanna High of Anaheim, 16-3, earlier on Thursday, as Borowitz amassed six goals, three assists and one steal. Culver collected four goals, three assists, two steals and one block, while Nevell produced three goals, one block and one steal. Zhang registered two goals, one assist and one steal, and Hou logged one goal and one assist. Dustin Goei tallied four saves and three assists, Brady Goei had three saves and Rivard finished with one block and one steal. Gladstein posted four steals, Luca Yurchak and senior Lucas Tiet each notched one assist, and Sascha Yurchak added one steal.
La Salle (4-0 overall) will visit Polytechnic in a nonleague matchup on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 3:30 p.m.
SFHS lost a Mission League game at Loyola High in Los Angeles, 28-4, last Tuesday.
The Golden Knights previously finished as runners-up in the Poly Invitational after falling to Flintridge Prep in the championship game, 11-10, on Saturday, Aug. 27. St. Francis swept its pool play completion, concluding with a 14-8 victory over neighboring La Cañada. SFHS added a pair of victories on the first day of pool play by narrowly beating Pasadena Polytechnic, 17-15, and Glendale Hoover, 15-8.
The Golden Knights opened the season by losing a league matchup at Harvard-Westlake High in Studio City, 26-7. No individual statistics were reported to the Pasadena Outlook.
St. Francis (3-4 overall, 0-2 in league) will battle Arcadia in a nonleague game on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 3:30 p.m.