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OT win keeps Vikes alive in pursuit of section playoffs

By: Staff Report
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The first of two steps required to get the Oakmont High boys water polo team into the section playoffs was not easy as the Vikings needed overtime to take down Bear River 9-8 Tuesday night at the Roseville Aquatics Center. “We survived a close game to avoid the upset attempt by Bear River, said Oakmont coach Mark Plank. “Bear River played a good zone defense to take away Shane Welch so we shot from outside and had a bad shooting night from outside.” The win, in the middle bracket (the fourth, fifth and sixth-place teams) of the SFL tournament finals, keeps alive Oakmont’s hopes of getting the fourth and final playoff spot available for Sierra Foothill League teams. “My boys did not execute the adjustments we attempted to make which led to a long and difficult night,” Plank said. “We are very fortunate to still be fighting for a section playoff berth and look forward to improving our effort on Thursday against Rocklin.” This contest was tied at 1-1 after the initial seven-minute period before the Bruins did the only second-stanza scoring to take a 3-1 lead into the break. Oakmont responded with a solid third quarter to take a 5-4 lead, but once again Bear River had an answer and the see-saw affair was level at 6-6 at the end of regulation. The Vikings outscored Bear River 3-2 in the extra session to secure the victory. Taylor Nordell had three goals to lead the Oakmont scoring effort, while Drew Wixon and Jared Codina each tallied twice. Welch battled a defense focused on stopping him all night long and came away with one goal and David Smith also found the back of the net. Viking goalie Zac Daniewicz was also a factor with three assists from the back. Bear River blasted Rocklin on Wednesday night, and Oakmont will meet the Thunder in a game that will decide who moves on to sections and who stays home. The ball will drop on that match at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the RAC.