Granite Bay reaches section finals

Grizzlies square off with Davis in title game today at the RAC
By: Steven Wilson,
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One goal. One game.

With two postseason wins in a week’s time, Granite Bay’s boys water polo team earned a berth in Saturday’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship game against Davis Saturday at the Roseville Aquatic Complex. 

“This title game is something we’ve been working towards for more than two and a half years,” said junior Blake D’Souza about his team’s success this postseason. “It’s a testament to the countless hours we put in to get to this game. We only take five weeks off throughout the whole year and that realization set in when we beat St. Mary’s. We were so happy.”

The Grizzlies, who lost in the third round of the section championships last year by one goal to Lodi, earned a little redemption over the Flames in the second round with a win at Del Oro and topped a strong St. Mary’s team Tuesday in Modesto to reach the section finals. 

Granite Bay will take on Davis, which enters Saturday’s contest after a 19-3 win over Woodcreek in the semifinals. 

“Davis is a very tough team,” D’Souza added. “But our ultimate goal is to bring home this section championship. If we do that, then this season is a success.”

After wrapping up the SFL title in late October, the Grizzlies have been one of the strongest teams in the section over the past two months. Thanks to a game-high four goals from Jackson MacLeane last week, the Grizzlies — who were fresh off a first-place finish in the DeLong Tournament — beat Lodi for the second time in a week Thursday, 13-2, in the section playoffs.

“That was the team that knocked us out,” Granite Bay’s coach John MacLeane acknowledged. “Even though a lot of those guys graduated, these were the guys who played against that section championship lineup.”

The Grizzlies followed that win up with a 9-6 victory over the St. Mary’s Rams Tuesday to advance in the Division I bracket.

Saturday’s championship match is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Roseville Aquatics Complex.