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Grizzlies take Woodcreek Invitational water polo title

By: Staff Report
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The Granite Bay High School boys’ water polo team ran off five consecutive wins on Friday and Saturday to take home the championship of the 2008 Woodcreek Invitational water polo tournament. The Grizzlies emerged victorious from a field that included thirty squads in one of the larger water polo tournaments of the high school season. The event featured a loaded field and included teams expected to vie for the Sac-Joaquin Section title. Granite Bay opened the tournament with three convincing wins to advance to semifinal round play on Saturday. A 13-1 win over Oak Ridge was followed by wins over Oakdale and El Camino by scores of 12-3 and 17-5. The three wins put them into the winner's bracket and a Saturday semi-final showdown with Stockton area powerhouse St Mary's, a squad that Granite Bay has owned in a number of recent head to head matchups. Adding to the drama of the contest was the absence of Granite Bay leading scorer Jamie Tyrrell, who was taking the SAT test on Saturday. His absence allowed the Grizzlies to showcase their team depth, as they toppled St. Mary’s 9-7 to set up a final match with Ponderosa. In a match between two schools who are considered among the front-runners in SJS Division II play, Granite Bay prevailed 8-4. With Tyrrell back in the lineup, the Grizzlies built a halftime lead of 7-1 and then finished strong to claim the trophy. Jamie Tyrrell led the way for Granite Bay with 15 goals scored, while James Vigeant added 14 goals. Steven DeFrancisci delivered big for the Grizzlies, adding 10 goals to the effort. Other Granite Bay scorers during the two-day event were Robert Thybery with five goals, Blake Van Gundy with four, Matt Wylder with three, and Kevin Miller, Dylan Weber and Brad Cooper with two. Mitchell Kobayashi and Elliot Adams each added single goals. Tyrrell also led the team with seven assists and seven steals. Anchoring the defense in the cage was Christian Fehrenbacher with 11 blocks in the St Mary's game and seven blocks in the Ponderosa game. The five wins put Granite Bay's season record at 19-1. The Grizzlies look to defend their Sierra Foothill League title in the SFL League Championship Tournament, which begins on Tuesday at the Roseville Aquatic Center.