Raiders strong comeback bid falls short against Fullerton
by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
A comeback attempt by the Sonora boys’ water polo team fell one goal short in a 11-10 loss to Fullerton, Tuesday at Fullerton High.
Down 7-1 at one point in the second quarter, the Raiders put in the final three goals of the first half and added two more in the second half to reduce the deficit to one goal at 7-6.
Sonora tied it up at 8-8 on a goal by Matt Ferguson, but the Raiders could not get a go-ahead score before Fullerton pulled away with goals by Sergio Torres and Everett Briggs.
Fullerton hung on despite a goal by Sonora’s Conrad Napier that put the Raiders at a one-goal deficit with seven seconds remaining.
“I thought we did a great job of clawing back in it,” said Jim Sprague, Sonora coach. “The problem today was outside shooting, it’s been good in the past, but we just didn’t have it today.”
The Raiders struggled with outside shooting and, but capitalized when they were able to go inside.
However, those opportunities were limited as the Indians once again focused their defensive efforts on stopping the two-meter attack.
Looking for its first league win, Fullerton jumped out early and took a 3-0 lead after the first quarter.
“We had a miserable first quarter and they were struggling with the concept that if the opponent is going to double team our two-meter man, then there is an extra shooter open somewhere,” Sprague said. “Finding that extra man is the solution to our problem.”
The Indians stretched it to 5-0 with goals by Rob Winder and Dave Tsuda early in the second quarter, but that’s when Sonora woke up.
Richard Atnip got the Raiders on the board with 3:45 remaining in the half. Dominik Kus, Shane Conlin and Napier added their goals within the final two minutes.
“Dominik has done a great job for us this week, he had a great day in practice yesterday and it translated today,” Sprague said. “With Chanse Lyster going down with an injury, he’s really stepped up.”
Kus and Art Martinez pulled the Raiders within one with attacks from the two-meter position, but Fullerton added a goal on a deflection to maintain the lead.
Fullerton’s win puts both teams at 1-6 in Freeway League play. Sonora will host Buena Park, Thursday afternoon at Sonora High.
“I have to give credit to Fullerton, they did a great job,” Sprague said. “They really wanted it today and they came out quick. We caught them, but then we got outplayed and we were too quick with outside shooting.”