Warrior water polo team wins first two league games

Fallbrook High’s Matthew Kuhn prepares to take a shot on goal during the Warriors’ varsity boys water polo match against La Costa Canyon. Fallbrook won the Oct. 12 contest 16-8. Shane Gibson photos

Fallbrook High School’s boys water polo team won its first two Valley League games of 2017.

Classical Academy traveled to Fallbrook’s pool Sept. 27 and the Warriors won by a 12-5 margin. A Sept. 28 match against San Pasqual High School at the Del Norte High School pool ended as a 12-10 Fallbrook victory.

“Offensively, defensively, we’re getting contributions from a lot of different players rather than just one or two,” Fallbrook coach Bill Richardson said.

Fallbrook and Classical Academy were tied at two goals apiece after the end of the first period.

“We came out kind of slow,” Richardson said.

The Warriors had a 5-2 lead when the halftime buzzer sounded.

“Then we kind of pulled away,” Richardson said.

First-half turnovers were an area of concern for Richardson.

“The final score was closer than it probably should have been,” he said. “We had a lot of scoring opportunities that we weren’t able to capitalize on.”

Benching starters for reserves to avoid running up the score is more effective when there is a larger difference in talent between the starters and reserves. In Fallbrook’s case, the starters are rested for short periods throughout the game, and the quality of play is affected minimally if at all.

“We’re fairly deep this year, so we’re able to rotate a lot of guys in,” Richardson said.

Fallbrook goalkeeper Jacob Cain made six saves against the Caimans. Six different Fallbrook players scored goals with Tanner Curnow placing five balls into the net, Chase Norfolk scoring three times and one goal apiece being contributed by Aria Firooz, Tiane Maestas, Jackson Richards and Bryce Sammons.

“It was a good win for us,” Richardson said of the victory in the Warriors’ league opener.

Del Norte High School is about the same distance from San Pasqual High School as the closest Escondido municipal pool, and the Poway Unified School District offers a lower rental rate, so the Golden Eagles play their home water polo matches at Del Norte.

“They’re a very well-coached, talented team,” Richardson said of San Pasqual. “San Pasqual’s really gotten better in the last couple of years.”

The Warriors held a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.

“We got out pretty fast,” Richardson said.

The score was 5-5 at halftime and the Warriors took a 10-9 lead into the fourth quarter.

“It was probably our most complete game with lots of contributions from lots of different players,” Richardson said.

Curnow scored five times while seven other players had a goal apiece.

The two league wins gave Fallbrook an overall season record of 11-6. The Warriors will conclude league play Oct. 25 at home against Ramona; Senior Night festivities will precede that contest.

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