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Hoover stops CV streak

Water Polo: For first time anyone can remember, Tornadoes best Falcons, stop 26-match streak in process.

October 12, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
  • CV's Jonny Malmrose, left, tries to shoot while Hoover's Hakop Baghumian defends.
CV's Jonny Malmrose, left, tries to shoot while… (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — While the Crescenta Valley High boys' water polo team entered Tuesday's Pacific League match at Hoover as the defending league champion with a 26-match winning streak in league, the Falcons also entered with just four total wins on the season and have been conspicuously absent from their customary presence in the CIF Southern Section Division V rankings most of the season.

The Tornadoes on the other hand, boasted the No. 8 ranking in the division, a solid record, as well as one of the most dominant players in the section, and seemed as primed to knock off the Falcons than as they've been any time in recent history.

And yet for the better part of half the match, it was the Falcons playing poised and controlling the match by a slim margin, while Hoover looked rushed and out of rhythm.

"We came out in the first half very excited," said Hoover's All-CIF standout Hakop Kaplanyan, whose team trailed at halftime, but turned the tide in the third quarter behind four of Kaplanyan's goals. "We were just overly excited, which was very unnecessary."

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But, behind the lead of Kaplanyan and his match-high 10 goals, the Tornadoes were able to reassert themselves as a contender with an 18-12 win despite the pride of a champion shown by the plucky Falcons.

"We weren't running our offensive system at all and our defensive system wasn't working for us in the first quarter," first-year Hoover Coach Kevin Witt said. "We made some adjustments and our guys picked it up eventually, but it took a while for us to get there."

Hoover (14-3, 3-0 in league) peppered the Falcons' goal with 11shots in the first quarter, but only two of them found the back of the cage and just four were on frame, whereas Crescenta Valley (4-12, 1-1) shot a tidy three of five to take a 3-2 lead into the second quarter. Hoover's defense did keep the Falcons from getting too may opportunities, though, by forcing six turnovers in the first quarter and 10 overall in the first half.

Kaplanyan tied the match at 3 with a steal and counter-attack to begin the second quarter back-and-forth and Jonny Malmrose answered with his second goal of the match on a pass from Leo Rostamian at the 6:33 mark. Hoover then took its first lead of the match, 5-4, with 5:36 left in the half on consecutive goals by Kaplanyan and David Pogosyan (three goals).

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