Varsity boys’ water polo clinch league title against Charter Oak

Varsity boys’ water polo (7-0) clinched the league title after defeating Charter Oak 17-12 Tuesday, Nov. 3 at Diamond Bar. The match was concluded a minute early due to lightning.

“We already decided that we were just going to go for offense, mostly. In the first quarter we were trying to [go up] 5-0, but that didn’t really work out,” left wing senior Kevin Chang said.

Left wing freshman Kyle Green led the Mustangs’ offense by scoring four points, while goalkeepers sophomore Hassan El Demerdash and junior Jeremy Medina blocked a total of eleven shots.

A minute into the first quarter, left wing freshman Kyle Green and driver senior Justin Clark gave Walnut an early two-point lead. Charter Oak then countered with three points, but Walnut returned with another two points from Clark and utility junior Jarren Peng, putting the Mustangs up 4-3.

“It was supposed to be an easy game, but we had a rough start. I think we just got off to a slow start because everyone was all hyped for senior night. Our coach geared us back into place,” driver senior Andrew Chen said.

During the second quarter, the Mustangs took advantage of an early score from driver senior Kyle Trieu. Charter Oak countered with a point, but the Mustangs followed with four unanswered goals. At the 0:18 mark, set guard junior Garrett Gautreau scored a final point for the Mustangs, ending the half with a score of 10-5.

“We tried playing as a team [and played like how] we played throughout the season to get the win — with a lot of energy. We could’ve passed the ball better and moved the ball around more fluently,” set guard sophomore Peter Harijanto said.

In the third quarter, Trieu scored two points for the Mustangs as they started to pull ahead of Charter Oak, bringing the score up to 14-7.

“It’s really the team that makes it work together because you have to build a bond with one another. It made us work harder and could communicate easier; so overall, we just played better, passed better and found each other so we can score,” Chen said.

During the fourth quarter, Walnut put all its seniors in, and they scored three points while Charter Oak responded by gaining five points. With 1:08 left in the quarter, the game was cancelled due to lightning and counted as a 17-12 win for the Mustangs.
“I thought it was a really fun last game. Even though it was raining, we still had fun,” said Chang. “There were a few mishaps between the players and goalies, but we just laughed through it, pulled ourselves together and ultimately won the game.”

By Haixin Guo, Staff writer

Photos by Casey Lee and Amanda Taing