Sonora water polo trounced at Buena Park

sonora_mascotby Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Speed and shallow waters were issues for the Sonora water polo team in a 17-6 loss to Buena Park, Tuesday afternoon at Buena Park High.

Though the Raiders (6-15, 1-2) kept it close after one quarter, Buena Park ran away in the second quarter and cruised to victory behind some strong play from Andy Kim at the two-meter position.

But the Raiders’ problems stemmed from the shallow end of the pool, where Sonora struggled on both sides of the ball.

“They have some kids that are a heck of a lot better than us today,” said Jim Sprague, Sonora co-coach. “Our kids were totally unprepared to play in the shallow end. I didn’t train them the way I should have.”

Kim led the way for the Coyotes (4-10, 2-1) with eight goals and three assists. Most of those goals came within the two-meter distance.

Defensively, Buena Park forced turnovers and goalie Ariel Prado blocked 15 shots.

The Coyotes speed led to a handful of counterattack goals, their crisp passing also made it hard for Sonora goalkeeper Nick Angulo to consistently move from side-to-side.

Chanse Lyster, Richard Atnip and Daniel Babashoff scored two goals apiece for Sonora.

The Raiders kept it close in the first quarter tying the score at 2-2 on a pair of goals by Lyster.

However, the Coyotes scored nine unanswered goals spanning from the first quarter to the third quarter to take a 11-2 lead.

Babashoff then scored both of his goals in succession in the third quarter and Atnip added one more, but the Raiders still chased a 14-5 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

Atnip scored the Raiders final goal with 1:28 remaining in the game.

“I have to take responsibility for the fact that they were very poorly trained for today,” Sprague said. “I want the kids play with the mindset that if they think something is going to happen to us, don’t let it happen. I let them down today in terms of playing in shallow water.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.