Bishop’s School water polo downs La Jolla High in CIF semifinals
• WATER POLO — SCORE:
The Bishop’s School Knights 9
La Jolla High School Vikings 6
By Ed Piper
By the time the long line of ticket-buying fans waiting outside La Jolla’s Coggan pool got into the CIF Division III boys water polo semifinal match Nov. 20, 2013 and took a seat, The Bishop’s School Knights had already built up what turned out to be an insurmountable 5-1 lead over rival La Jolla High Vikings and the game was already basically decided. The Knights went on to win, 9-6.
Zack La Grange poured in two goals, with Tommy Higginson, Richard Daly and Evan Elig one apiece, to build the early padding. La Jolla never got closer than 8-6 the rest of the game.
Bishop’s (21-9 overall, 3-3 in the Western League) dropped their CIF final to top-seed Cathedral Catholic Nov. 23, 8-5, with Higginson scoring two goals. Bishop’s had been seeded second, La Jolla third in the playoffs.
Said Daly, a senior who scored a goal in the second, third, and fourth quarters, in the win over La Jolla: “We played great defense all around, only letting six goals for them. That’s pretty good for us. We field-blocked the ball real well in front of Andrew (Chun, goalie). He played a great game. We didn’t make too many mistakes.” Chun, a sophomore, registered 14 saves as Bishop’s took two of the three meetings between the two teams this season.
The Vikings (19-12 overall, 3-3 in the Western League) made a furious attempt to claw their way back from the early deficit, but they were unable to score even during two penalty situations late in the game playing with a one-man advantage.
Bishop’s senior James Maysent, who had an assist, said: “It felt really good, especially for our seniors. We played strong really early, then our goalie played a great game.”
The schools’ respective student cheering sections, sitting next to and intertwined with the fans of the opposing school, carried on a steady beat of chants, cheers and barbs directed to the other side, many of the students from the two schools knowing one another.
A rhythmic “I believe that we will win” was first struck up by Viking supporters in the second quarter, then returned by Knight fans a short time later. Some La Jolla students held up a sign reading “Knight Time,” meaning “It’s late, we’re going to put you to sleep with a loss,” while a Bishop’s student’s shirt reading “Knight Time” obviously carried a quite different meaning — “It’s our time.”
Bishop’s coach Jim Fales commented, “I think the early lead ended up being crucial. We scored seven goals in the first half. La Jolla came in pretty emotional, (possibly working against them).” What was the difference from Bishop’s 10-9 loss at home to the Vikings in their last encounter? “That was early in the season. We were able to work our scouting report and game plan (in this game),” Fales said.
Cole Martinez, a La Jolla senior and veteran of many battles between these crosstown rivals, said of the Vikings’ approach to trying to overcome the lead in the second half, “We just worked as a team and tried to score each goal working as a team.”
Daly’s goal with 43 seconds left in the third quarter to go up 8-4 came off a pass that he didn’t catch. He just redirected it with a tap straight in past junior goalie Matt Allen.
In the fourth quarter, Daly was called for his second personal foul at 5:51, putting him out of the pool for two minutes on the penalty. La Jolla coach Tom Atwell called a timeout, but coming out of the timeout the Vikings were unable to take advantage of the 6-on-5 advantage to score. Allen made a nice save with 5:20 left, reciprocated by Chun at the other end 28 seconds later.
Atwell summed the game up: “We spotted them four goals, and it’s hard to recover from that against a good team.”
— GAME STATS:
• Goals: Bishop’s: Daly 3, Higginson 2, Elig 2, LaGrange 2. La Jolla: Duke Becker 3, Tito Hernandez 1, Martinez 1, Dutch Drinco 1.
• Assists: Bishop’s: Esteban Vasquez 1, Maysent 1, Daly 1. La Jolla: Cole Carpenter 1, Becker 1.
• Saves: Chun 14 (B), Matt Allen (LJ) 5.
- Western League Water Polo season gets underway for La Jolla high school teams
- La Jolla High girls water polo rallies past Cathedral Catholic High
- La Jolla’s The Bishop’s School JV water polo team wins championship
- Water Polo season starting to heat up
- Vikings water polo squad drops tough match
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