Sunday Nov 15 2009
Win over DO nets GB polo third title in four years
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
Grizzlies top league rival for fourth time this season
The anticipated section final matchup arrived in boys water polo, and Granite Bay was even better than they have been in prior meetings. The Grizzlies were just a bit better in each quarter Saturday as they knocked off Del Oro in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II finals 14-10. It was the fourth time this year that Granite Bay has handled Del Oro head-to-head as this was the one hurdle a talented core of Golden Eagle seniors just could not clear. When Tommy McKenzie fired one into the cage from out on top midway through the third period, it was the first Del Oro goal not scored by Alex Obert, and on this day that lack of balance may have been costly. While the score seems high, it was a contest filled with aggressive defense, and during the first half much of the scoring came when teams were in a man-advantage situation. The Grizzlies spread the wealth offensively as Robert Thyberg, James Vigeant, Andrew Murch and Bradley Cooper all scored first period goals to offset two Obert tallies to give Granite Bay a 4-2 advantage seven minutes in. Elliott Adams, Murch and Vigeant scored in the second, while Obert added two more as the Granite Bay lead increased. Ryan McCallister got into the act in the third, a quarter that also leaned green with a 4-3 Grizzly advantage. Leading by four goals heading into the final stanza, Granite Bay fought off a series of furious battles with Obert as he worked feverishly to get free for shots on the frame. McKenzie scored a second goal in the fourth, as he and Obert (eight goals) provided all of the Del Oro scoring. It was a game effort by Obert, McKenzie, Peter Weddle, Josh McCormick, JT Roe, Leland Delehanty and their Del Oro teammates. This group of seniors had high hopes that this would be the magical season when the Golden Eagles finally got past Granite Bay, but it was not to be. Vigeant scored four times to lead the Grizzlies, while Murch and Cooper each added three tallies. In all, seven different players scored for Granite Bay. After losing in last year’s final and seeing the bulk of that starting unit graduate and move on, this was a big section title for the Grizzlies. It was the fourth section title in Granite Bay boys water polo history, and its third in four years. For Del Oro, the loss brought to an end a satisfying season in which the Golden Eagles went further in the playoffs than any team in school history.