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Prep lets win soak in

Water polo: Rebels' boys rotate entire roster into Tuesday's 8-6 victory over California.

November 08, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Expectations set at the beginning of the year by the Flintridge Prep boys' water polo team were shattered.

Prep not only appeared in the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs for the first time in five years Tuesday, but was victorious in a 8-6 win over California in a wild-card match.

"Our goal this year was to get some respect in league and see what happens if we finish .500," Rebels Coach Dan Hare said. "Now, to have a CIF win under our belt feels really good."

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Prep's goalie Brian Khin, who had 11 saves and two steals in the game, said it felt good to break the playoff drought.

"It wasn't even our goal to get into CIF this year," Khin said. "It was our goal for next year. It feels amazing [to win]."

Hare wanted to build something off the experience and did so by rotating in his entire squad, including junior varsity players, into the game in the final five minutes. That led to a closer margin of victory for Prep (15-11), which went into the third quarter up, 6-2.

Carlo Sivilotti added to the four-goal lead, scoring two goals early in the fourth quarter for Flintridge Prep and finishing with a game-high four. Sivilotti first scored 50 seconds into the quarter and added another, following a Condors goal, with 5:10 left in the game, which allowed Hare to make mass substitutions.

"I am just glad I got those two goals because it got the JV guys in," said Sivilotti, who also had a match-high three steals. "They get to say they played in CIF."

The switch made the game more interesting, as California (15-10) went on a three-goal run in a four-minute span. Vince Ballesteros scored the first two goals of the run, one on a six-on-five opportunity, and Andrew Miller added another on a man-advantage with 36 seconds left to cut Prep's lead and finish the scoring at 8-6.

The game wasn't as close as the score indicated. The Rebels started the game with a four-goal run. Diego Delgado, who finished with three goals, scored the first two goals and Sivilotti added another in the last 45 seconds of the first quarter. The run continued into the second, as Sivilotti scored on the opening possession of the second quarter.

Prep built up the lead behind great defense, as it forced 22 California turnovers, three of which led to goals.

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