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Burbank boys' water polo gets best of CV once again

Water polo: Bulldogs hang on for one-goal win over scoreless final 1:32.

October 30, 2012|By Grant Gordon
  • Burbank's Zack Card leans back to protect against the defense of Crescenta Valley's Omar Trad.
Burbank's Zack Card leans back to protect against… (Tim Berger, Los…)

BURBANK — After combining for 19 goals in Tuesday afternoon's Pacific League Tournament semifinal showdown, the Burbank High and Crescenta Valley boys' water polo teams couldn't muster a single tally over the final minute and 32 seconds.

But that didn't make the match any less dramatic, particularly the final 34 seconds.

"It was 34 seconds and it felt like 10 minutes," said Burbank first-year Coach Kristina Garcia.

Both teams had their ups and downs in the span, but it was Burbank that was finally able to run out the clock after a Crescenta Valley gaffe, with Bulldogs co-captain Sean Savoy's tally with 1:32 remaining standing as the game-winner in his team's 10-9 win over the Falcons at Burbank High.

"I am very grateful and extremely proud of my team for pulling this off and it makes me extremely excited to be taking this team to the league finals," said Garcia, whose Bulldogs (13-6, 5-2 in league) clinched second place with the win and will play league-champion Glendale, which clinched an outright title with a 19-9 win over Burroughs, on Thursday at Burbank in the league finals at 5:30 p.m.

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In reality, the excitement started before the 34-second mark, but the true chaos came then.

With just over a minute left, Crescenta Valley's Antonio Camarillo had a point-blank, match-tying attempt blocked by Burbank goalie Derek Baer. Baer had a number of point-blank stops, including two on one possession in the first half, and 10 stops all together in an overall excellent performance.

With 40 seconds remaining, the Falcons had possession and Falcons Coach Jan Sakonju called a timeout. But almost immediately out of the break, the Falcons botched the play and Burbank notched a steal.

Out of a Burbank timeout, the Bulldogs' possession lasted mere seconds when they were called for an offensive infraction, but CV's ensuing possession was turned over on a two-meter violation.

Then, Savoy had a golden opportunity on the left wing to score a game-clinching goal, but missed badly and the Falcons had one final chance — albeit a small one with seven seconds left.

"I was a little too energetic and excited," said Savoy, who had a pair of goals, three assists and a steal. "I could've lost us the game."

Sakonju called his third and final timeout to go over a final play, but his team immediately lined up incorrectly. Thus, Sakonju called another timeout, only he had already called the maximum three, resulting in an automatic turnover.

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