Story by Zoe Schlaak
Photo by Katelyn Hernandez
Boys water polo defeated Temple City, 10-7, for the second time this year on Wednesday, Oct. 30. South Pas finished the season as undefeated Rio Hondo League champs with an 8-0 record.
The Rams wasted no time, quickly firing a barrage of shots, but junior goalkeeper Liam Markus diverted all the attempts instantly.
South Pas kept the ball moving around the pool, but was unable to crack the Temple City defense until sophomore Owen Imasaki scored from the left wing. Moments later, senior Evan Kowal attempted a shot and failed, but after obtaining the rebound, he scored. South Pas finished the first quarter with a 3-1 lead.
In the second quarter, both teams were locked in an intense battle. Junior Anthony Felix opened up the scoring, but Temple City answered on a penalty shot.
The Rams scored again and seemed ready to take over the game. However, deflections from sophomore Lucas Abrahamian and junior Eddie Lane-Flannigan allowed the Tigers to enter halftime leading 4-3.
Early in the second half, during a Rams exclusion, Lane-Flannigan took advantage of a six on five and scored. Then, Temple City took full control, rattling off three unanswered goals to take a 6-5 lead.
Junior Anthony Felix stopped the Rams run, swiftly passing to Kowal, who brought the game to a tie. Markus dominated, blocking shot after shot. Towards the end of the period, he deflected a blistering attempt and recovered to save the rebound and preserve the 6-6 tie.
During the last quarter, the Tigers upped their offense attack, as Kowal drew a penalty and Lane-Flannigan sunk the shot. Kowal and the Rams traded scores, leaving the score 8-7. Flannigan and Imasaki followed, securing the last two goals of the game and the Tigers emerged with a 10-7 victory and an RHL championship.
“It’s awesome to win back to back undefeated league champions. Everyone put in so much work and sacrificed to get to this point and our work paid off. I am so lucky to have shared the past four years with this group of guys and can’t wait to play CIF with them,” Kowal said.
The CIF Southern Section Division III bracket will be released on Saturday, Nov. 2.