Water polo defeats West Covina, 20-6

Varsity boys’ water polo improves to 2-0 in league after defeating West Covina, 20-6 on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at Diamond Bar.

“We went into the game overconfident and we played terrible in the first quarter. We weren’t really in a good mindset. Between the players, we weren’t looking up, as in we weren’t looking for good passes and shots,” set guard senior Derrick Moon said.

Left wing freshman Kyle Green led the Mustangs’ offense by scoring four points. On defense, goalkeeper sophomore Hassan El Demerdash blocked 10 shots, limiting the Bulldogs’ offense to six points.

In the first two minutes of the first quarter, West Covina got to an early 2-point lead. Walnut then countered with two points from right wing sophomore Justin Swafford and driver senior Justin Clark. However, the Bulldogs scored another point and ended the quarter with a lead of 3-2.

“I was pretty shocked that we were losing by one. I actually thought they got a lot better, but it was just because we weren’t playing as good as we wanted to. After that, we had a new mentality, and we were more excited to play. We got our head in the game,”  said utility junior Jarren Peng.

During the second quarter, the Mustangs pulled forward into the lead, with six unanswered points from Green, Peng and set guard Garrett Gautreau.

“Our coach told us that we shouldn’t even be close to them; we should be killing them. It got into our minds that they weren’t just going to hand [the win] to us, we had to work for it,” Swafford said.

Walnut started to pull away from the Bulldogs in the third quarter, as the team piled on seven more points to take a 15-4 lead. The Mustangs limited the Bulldogs to only one point in the third.

“Instead of playing down to the other team’s level, we have to step it up. [West Covina] is not a good team, and we’re playing to their skill, which we don’t want to do,” said Swafford. “We want to be playing to our best ability.”

Going into the fourth quarter, Walnut scored five more goals and limited West Covina to two points, winning the game 20-6.

“We knew we were going to win the game from the start and we just played like we didn’t care. We need to come out strong and finish strong,” said driver freshman Patrick Webb.

By Haixin Guo, Staff writer

Photo by Sajid Iqbal