CHS water polo wins; complete sports updates
The Claremont Wolfpack broke the game open during the 2nd quarter against the Charter Oak Chargers on Tuesday, cruising to a solid 25-13 win during a crucial road league match. Coach Kristin McKown tried to spread the offense out as much as possible in a pool that looked like it was designed for children. In the end, it was Claremont’s superior possession and tendency to break up the Chargers passing that gave them complete control in this contest.
Claremont outscored Charter Oak during each quarter of the game, although the first quarter was evenly contested. It became clear after 2 minutes that the Chargers would use center Chuckie Ortega as their focal point of attack. Claremont punched in 3 quick goals, but Ortega responded with 4 of his own in the following 5-minute span. CHS established their intent to hit their wingers quickly when gaining possession, using their advantage in speed and length to catch out Charger defenders on fast break opportunities.
With a 5-4 lead, Claremont began the second quarter with attacking verve. Now used to the miniscule pool’s dimensions and extremely tight officiating, their strategy started to win out. Senior driver Nick Garcia took it upon himself to build Claremont a lead, scoring 5 goals in the second quarter alone. Claremont increased their lead to 13-6 by halftime. Star goalie Steven Cagle saved 6 shots with the sun directly in his eyes, a testament to Claremont’s determination to beat Charter Oak at their own all-out strategy. By spreading wingers out wide, Cagle was able to hit players deep consistently with “ball to hand” passes, said Coach McKown
The game’s frantic pace would continue throughout the second half. Coach McKown was adamant that doubling Charter Oak’s Ortega was important to stop their flow, and matched defensive specialist Jack Mammone with him. The Chargers’ frustration showed visibly once they saw the game slipping away. Sophomore Adam Ward hit 2 more goals early in the 3rd quarter. Winger Brian Fox ended it with a bang, launching a skipping shot right in the corner of the net to make it 18-10 Claremont.
In the final quarter of the game, Coach McKown made sure her players kept the pressure on the home team. The travelling support was treated to no less than 4 highlight reel plays.
First, Mammone scored a screamer from the outer ring, and then Fox got the ball one-on-one with the goalie and cheekily looped it over his head into the net. A minute later, Fox again found himself in space. He hit senior right-winger Stephen Zetterberg with a pass in stride, and Zetterberg did the rest, smashing it home from close range. Just to put an exclamation point on the win, Cagle saved 3 point-blank efforts from Charger forwards in a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Claremont’s next game is the real test. The Damien Spartans are one of the only teams considered to be better than Claremont, but Coach McKown knows her team can win.
“We can frustrate them by getting Damien’s guys to play individual ball, while we continue to play transition ball,” McKown said. “They will be reeling after we almost beat them at home last time, and will feel pressure to play well in their home pool.”
The big game is on Tuesday, October 23, at 4 p.m. at Damien High School. Claremont is now 3-1 in league, and in strong position to reach the CIF-SS playoffs. The team will be strong next year as well, returning 8 out of 11 players to the varsity team in 2013.
Claremont defeated a strong South Hills team 12-6 at home on Tuesday, putting their overall record at 8-0. With high hopes of getting at least to the semifinals in the CIF-SS playoffs, the Wolfpack look to close out their perfect season on the road on Tuesday, October 23 at 4 p.m. against Chino Hills.
Vivian Webb suffered 2 close losses against Upland and Flintridge this week. This dropped the Gauls’ Prep league record to 2-6. Their final match is against Pasadena Poly at the Cal Tech courts next Thursday, October 25 at 4 p.m.
Claremont raised their play after winning 2 and losing 2 games at the Ayala Tournament, and took apart South Hills in straight sets on Tuesday. The win raises the Wolfpack’s league record to 3-3, and as the fourth-ranked team they will need to win out to have a shot at the playoffs. Claremont squares off against Chino Hills at home on Tuesday, October 23 at 5:30 p.m.
Vivian Webb came back from their first back-to-back losses of the season with an emphatic home victory over Westridge. The Gauls (5-4 in Prep League) have 3 games remaining, all matches away at league opponents. Vivian Webb battles a tough Mayfield team on Tuesday, October 23 at 5:30 p.m.
BOYS WATER POLO
Webb won its 4th game in a row, taking their road match against Milken 16-7. The Gauls next face a league battle against Chadwick, whom they beat last time around. The game is in Palos Verdes on Tuesday, October 23 at 3:30 pm.
Webb lost another shootout to Lincoln County, NV last Friday. In a downpour, the Gauls were unable to stop Lincoln almost every time they had the ball. However, Webb was able to score when receiver Cameron Daugherty hit Ricky Gonzales for a long touchdown scamper. Cornerback Landen Taflinger scored for the Gauls’ defense on a long fumble recovery, and then quarterback TJ Fenton ran a draw play 70 yards to the house for a consolation score. The score from the game against Pasadena Poly will be in the Wednesday edition of the COURIER.
WOMENS WATER POLO
LA Pierce 15, Citrus 12
MENS WATER POLO
C-M-S 11, Caltech 3
P-P 11, Redlands 7
Citrus 7, West LA 0