First published in the Nov. 10 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The Flintridge Prep varsity boys’ water polo team was eliminated from the CIF-SS Division III playoffs after falling to Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo, 13-8, in the second round last Thursday.
Senior goalie John Bennett made 16 saves while senior Noah Corral collected a team-high three goals for the Wolves.
Senior Ty Young produced a pair of goals, while sophomores Elliot Oakes, Charlie Simonian and Ridley Tolleson each scored once.
The Wolves previously defeated visiting Burroughs High of Burbank, 14-8, in the first round of CIF last Tuesday. The only lead change happened early in the first quarter when Flintridge Prep faced a 1-0 deficit. Senior Henry Brookbanks got the scoring started and found the back of the net.
Flintridge Prep dominated the rest of the match, led by Corral who finished with a game-high seven goals, three steals and two blocks. He scored four of his seven goals in the first half to help propel the Wolves to an early 7-2 lead.
“Noah really led us early offensively, as well as Henry. They just took control early on and it allowed us to open up from the perimeter and allowed us to become a little more relaxed in our offensive setting, which was nice to see at this point of the season,” Flintridge Prep head coach Andrew Phillips said. “It’s super crucial to get an early lead, especially at [a neutral venue]. To be able to gather that momentum early on, push it through the next few quarters and seal it off in the fourth is very important.”
As a team, the Flintridge Prep defense racked up 18 steals and eight blocks while Bennett amassed 14 saves, including seven in the fourth quarter.
“Defense was clicking and communicating. We had a great performance from our goalie John Bennett, who had multiple saves,” Phillips said. “He’s doing great, especially from two meters and close shots.”
Brookbanks finished with three goals, seven steals and two blocks, while Tolleson recorded three steals, two blocks and one goal. Young tallied two blocks, one goal and one steal, Oakes and Simonian each scored once, and senior Aidan Grimm and Michael Gamboa each had one steal.
Flintridge Prep concluded the campaign as Prep League runners-up with a 5-3 record (20-9 overall) and will look to return to the postseason next year.