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Kaplanyan, Hoover wild enough

Water Polo: Tornadoes standout scores 15 goals in team's 16-12 CIF wild-card win over Cathedral City.

November 10, 2010|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Hoover's Hakop Kaplanyan.
Hoover's Hakop Kaplanyan. (Tim Berger, Glendale…)

BURBANK — As the story of Hakop Kaplanyan and the most successful seasons of Hoover High boys' water polo continues to be written, Tuesday's triumph will no doubt serve as another memorable chapter.

One defender couldn't stop Kaplanyan, nor could two or even three at times once Cathedral City changed its strategy. Neither could the officials, as he kept scoring despite being troubled by two ejections.

In the end, the ultra-talented junior scored all but one of his team's goals in a 16-12 defeat of Cathedral City in the wild-card round of the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs at Burbank High.

"I was kind of [surprised]," said Kaplanyan, who had 15 goals, of Cathedral City's approach of guarding him one on one and sticking to it throughout the entire first period and much of the second. "They thought they could handle me, but I guess I proved them wrong."

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The reigning All-Area Boys' Water Polo Player of the Year imposed his will from the get-go, scoring 19 seconds into the match and then again at the 5:45 mark off an assist from Todd Bazik to give the Tornadoes a 2-0 lead they would never relinquish.

"He definitely was extremely effective," said Hoover Coach Ara Oganesyan, whose Tornadoes (16-15) will play host Pasadena Poly in a first-round match today at 3:15 p.m. "When he was playing focused, when he was playing in the system, he was doing well."

Kaplanyan scored four in a row at one point in the second period and his team's first 11 and last four, all of those coming in the last quarter. Perhaps his finest goal came when he put the Tornadoes ahead, 11-5, late in the second quarter. Kaplanyan essentially passed to himself, tossing the ball over a double-team, dipping between two defenders, emerging and grabbing the ball, before spinning to the inside past a third defender and tossing in his 11th goal of the match at that point.

Hoover goalie Ron Glandian added 10 saves and four steals, while Arvin Abrahamin had five steals.

The only real deterrence for Kaplanyan was much the same for the entire Hoover squad and that was ejections. Kaplanyan missed part of the first and second quarters and the entire third period with two ejections.

"Coach did the right thing taking me out," said Kaplanyan, who saw his team go cold in the third with only a David Davtyan score to speak of as Cathedral City scored twice to pull within 12-9. "I came out the last quarter prepared and playing it smart just to take it home."

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