Photo by Tony Chen
Boys’ water polo overpowered La Cañada in their home league opener, seizing victory with ease and tallying a final score of 15-7 on Tuesday, September 25. South Pas’s unquestionably superior offense and defense overwhelmed La Cañada, as the Spartan defensive players were unable to delay the Tigers.
Although the first quarter commenced with South Pas sending passes straight into the hands of La Cañada, the Tigers quickly recovered with a skilled skip shot by sophomore Eddie Lane-Flannigan. Freshman Owen Imasaki dashed past the La Cañada defense, even while being drowned by four of La Cañada’s players, leaving all in awe after securing a point blank goal. The La Cañada defense continued to struggle, leaving junior Evan Kowal able to easily possess the ball three times in the quarter and eventually send it into the net from the side of the pool. Sophomore Anthony Felix, who had been displaying notable defense and steals, left the audience in applause after his shot from more than halfway across the pool was knocked into the goal with the force of a failed block by the La Cañada goalie. The first quarter ended with a 6-2 lead for the Tigers.
South Pas opened the second quarter with a successful steal and a nail bitingly close push towards the goal by freshman Egan Hadsell-Florin, although it was narrowly saved by the La Cañada goalie. Although the Tigers continued to overwhelm La Cañada in their pushes, the opposing Spartans set up well-placed passes that led to overhand slams, catching South Pas off guard. Lane Flannigan and Felix attempted creative backhand shots that scarcely missed the mark, but left La Cañada on edge. Sophomore Liam Markus body blocked a multitude of close shots throughout the quarter, which highlighted the distinct supremacy in talent that the Tigers held compared to La Cañada’s goalie. By half, the scoreboard lit with a 7-4 advantage for South Pas.
Quarter three showcased more formidable plays by the South Pas sophomores, featuring impressive swats of the ball out of enemy hands by Felix and an aggressive rush and shot into the goal by Lane-Flannigan. The Tigers defense was held by senior Uday Sidhu with imposing blocks at the goal. Senior Philip Lee scored twice with shots that left the opposing goalie blindsided. La Cañada’s defense was still unable to keep up with South Pas, ending the third quarter with a lead for the Tigers and a score of 10-5.
Realizing the unlikely comeback La Cañada would have to make in the fourth quarter, South Pas sent in many of its benched players of the season to earn experience in the pool. While Imasaki, Felix, and Lee continued to score, junior Hyun Kim launched a powerful shot past the Spartan’s goalie. La Cañada, in panic, pulled through with two practiced setups, although it was unable to setback the lead of the Tigers. The fourth quarter concluded with a final score of 15-7 and a victory for South Pas in their first game of league.
Boys’ water polo hopes to add another win to their record against school rival San Marino in their home league game on Tuesday, October 2.