CV stumped by Poly

Despite holding two previous wins, Falcons can't get a third against Panthers in Wednesday's CIF loss at Mt. SAC.

November 18, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,

WALNUT — For about two minutes of Wednesday night's CIF Southern Section Division V semifinal match, it looked like the Crescenta Valley High boys' water polo team might just be up for a comeback as improbable as the nearly 20 minutes of offensive futility that preceded it.

Robbie Ruzicka and Alan Dearman's consecutive goals within a one-minute span near the end of the third period cut the Falcons' deficit in half and gave them a chance to put their worst game of the season behind them and try to extend their rally against Pasadena Poly into the fourth quarter.

But the fourth-quarter magic never came, as the fourth-seeded Panthers simply reasserted the defensive dominance they had displayed the entire match and finished what they started with a 6-2 win at Mount San Antonio College to advance to Saturday's final and hand top-seeded Crescenta Valley its second semifinal loss in as many seasons.


"The biggest problem was execution," Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju said. "We wrote out exactly what Poly was going to do today. We discussed it as a staff, we've talked about it since Friday evening. We had a game plan, we went away from it, guys were making mental errors, taking the shots that we didn't want to take.

"We failed to execute exactly what we wanted to do. In a semifinal game like this when the pressure's on, sometimes weird things happen."

Suffice to say, some weird things began to happen to CV from the get-go, as the Falcons looked out of sync, off their game and unable to penetrate Poly's defense, resulting in being put in the entirely unfamiliar situation of struggling to get on the scoreboard late into the game.

The Falcons (25-5) had their bread and butter counter-attack neutralized early by Poly (22-3), and with it slowly went their half-court confidence and defensive swagger.

"It just wasn't our day," Falcons junior Louis Wojciechowski said. "We just came out flat and after the first quarter to not score is kind of a bummer.

"We couldn't connect with each other, we couldn't do anything."

Surprising as it was to see the Falcons get shut out in not one, but two quarters to open a match, particularly against a team it had already beaten twice this year, the game was far from lost at halftime, as the Panthers had also struggled to convert from the field in the first half, leading by a precarious 2-0 advantage.

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