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Late push propels Prep past Burbank

Water polo: Rebels come on in second half to earn 13-12 win on the road

September 24, 2012|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Tim Berger Staff…)

BURBANK — Flintridge Prep boys' water polo Coach Dan Hare was trying to get his team one last tuneup prior to its opening league match.

Burbank Coach Kristina Garcia was attempting to teach some of her players a little something about following team rules.

Both coaches might just have accomplished their goals when the squads faced one another Monday in a nonleague contest at Burbank.

The Rebels were able to battle back, overcoming a sluggish first half to play much better in the second, to win the battle of the ranked teams, 13-12.

While Flintridge Prep (8-5) is ranked No. 5 in CIF Southern Section Division V, Burbank (5-2) holds down the No. 8 spot in the division.

Fresh from a fifth-place finish Saturday in the Malibu Tournament, Hare said Burbank was the type of competitive program he wanted his squad to square off against before it opens Prep League play Tuesday against Webb.

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"I take my hat off to Burbank; they have some real good shooters on that team," Hare said. "We always try to play schools that are bigger than we are because we know that the competition helps us in the long run. You want to play tough teams to get you ready for league."

The Bulldogs began the game with a number of starters on the bench. Garcia said she held the players out in the early going because of some minor infractions. She was hoping the disciplinary action would wake up some of the Bulldogs athletes.

"There were some players who didn't show up and failed to notify either myself [or my assistant coach]," said Garcia, who is in her first season after previously coaching at Burroughs. "It hurt us not having them in there from the start. But as long as this teaches them what this program is all about than I'm happy. I don't need the win under my belt."

The Rebels received solid performances from a group of players. Four individuals, Diego Delgado, Alex Blaine, Jamie Walker and Ethan Vandeventer, tallied three goals each.

Delgado staked Prep to an early 1-0 lead when he converted a five-meter penalty shot just 20 seconds into the match.

However, Burbank quickly tied the score and moved ahead, 2-1, on consecutive goals by Arthur Mneryan. That forced the Rebels to play catch-up for most of the first three quarters.

"We just never want to give up," Delgado said. "In the past we've done that, but now we just keep on fighting and we just don't want to lose. We usually don't have very many good first quarters, but we seem to pick it up and win at the end."

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