La Jolla upsets Bishop’s in Draper Street water polo rivalry


By Rick LeBeau


As always seems to be the case — no matter what their respective county rankings — The Bishop’s School and La Jolla have pride on the line when the two cross-town rivals meet in the pool in the fall.

Last week was no exception; tensions were high when top-ranked Bishop’s hosted La Jolla for the second match of the season. The Knights took round one at the Vikings’ pool three weeks earlier, 10-7.

La Jolla broke the ice early by scoring on their first possession. The tone for the game was set less than a minute later, when the Knights evened the score. From that point until literally the final minute of the game, neither team ever had more than a one-goal lead. Any time either team scored and had seemingly established momentum, the other would come back to tie it up.

This pattern remained intact until the final three minutes of the game, when the Knights scored to take their final lead, 10-9.

With the pace and intensity of the game never waning even for a minute, the Vikings worked furiously on offense to try to tie the game once more. Finally, Nick Reynolds took a pass from Dylan Hallman and scored from five meters out to knot the game at 10 apiece. After a shot went wide of the goal on the Knights’ next possession, La Jolla’s Brandon Flores put one home on a side-arm shot that found the top corner of the cage, giving the Vikings a tenuous advantage.

Bishop’s quickly worked the ball around on offense, but couldn’t get the tying score. La Jolla Coach Tom Atwell used his final time out to settle his bunch and set up a play to try to run time off the clock and perhaps gain an elusive two-goal lead.

With the 30-second shot clock winding down, Christian Clark got free on the right post and whistled a skip shot past the goalie to give La Jolla a 12-10 lead with 36 seconds remaining. The game seemed to be in the Vikings’ grasp at that point, but Drew Hoffenberg stole the ball at mid-tank as the Vikings tried to run out the clock. Hoffenberg buried a shot with six seconds left, but that was as close as the Knights got. La Jolla ran out the final seconds, hanging on for a 12-11 victory.

Brandon Flores, Nick Reynolds and Christian Clark each scored three goals for the Vikings. The Knights’ Hoffenberg led all scorers with his five goals; Matt Michalko contributed two strong goals out of two meters for the Knights.