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Poway eliminates Warrior water polo team in quarterfinals
By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent
The boys water polo season came to an end for Fallbrook High School Nov. 10, when the Warriors lost a second-round match to Poway High School at the Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.
The Titans, who advanced to the Division I semifinals with a 17-9 victory, took an 11-1 halftime lead and built up a 13-1 lead before seven consecutive Warrior goals in the second half.
"We played slow first half," said Fallbrook coach Scott Forest. "They came out big first half and we didn't match it. They're a fast team and I knew that was going to be tough to keep up with."
Poway scored the first goal 1:05 into the match and had a 5-0 lead at the end of the first period. "We look to score quickly," noted Poway coach Dan Crane.
The Titans scored the second period's first goal 50 seconds into the quarter, maintaining the 6-0 lead until Dusty Urquart scored for Fallbrook with 5:06 left in the seven-minute period. Poway took a 7-1 lead 12 seconds later, and the Titans had a 10-goal lead at the half. The Titans scored again 30 seconds into the third period and took a 13-1 lead with 5:57 left in the third quarter. Crane used the luxury of Poway's large lead to play 18 different players during the match. "They earned the right to go out there and play," Crane remarked.
Urquart scored with 5:33 left in the period, and with 4:20 left in the period his penalty shot went into the net despite a block by Poway goalie Kyle Broderick. Jay Hartzell scored with 3:59 left in the period, and Urquart added a goal with 30 seconds left in the quarter. Hartzell scored 18 seconds into the fourth period and again with 5:17 left in the quarter, and Scott Ender narrowed the gap to 13-8 with a goal for Fallbrook 22 seconds later. Poway returned to the scoreboard with 3:22 left, and with 2:45 remaining Matt Shafer's goal for Fallbrook made the score 14-9. Poway scored three goals in the final minute to close out the match.
"We were all on today," said Jeff Allen, who led Poway with seven goals. "We're ready to play."
Poway guard Chris Jensen noted that the first-half score wasn't indicative of the relative skills of the two teams. "They were tough, but we played better as a team than they did," Jensen remarked.
"I've got a young team, so we'll be back next year strong, but it's tough to lose," Forest said.
"We didn't play very well in the first quarter," said Hartzell. "We picked it up in the third and fourth quarter, played a lot better. Just the first quarter killed us."
Poway, which improved its record to 20-5 with the win, had received the top seed in the Division I playoffs and received a first-round bye. "I think we're picking up where we left off," Crane said. "We hadn't played for 10 days, and we were hoping there wasn't going to be a letdown."
Poway had a 10-0 Palomar League record for the Titans' seventh consecutive league championship and 14th league championship in the past 15 seasons.
Fallbrook, which finished its season with an overall record of 14-12, played Rancho Buena Vista in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 7 at Palomar College and advanced with a 13-4 victory.
"It was a good season. It didn't end up how I would have liked it to, but it was a good senior season," said Hartzell, one of four seniors on the
The Warriors finished second in Avocado League play with a 6-2 record. "This team's improved a lot," Forest said. "That's the main thing."
This is Forest's first year as the coach of the team. Three of his four seniors -- Hartzell, Jamie Bennett, and Ryan Fitzpatrick -- are starters, but the rest of the team will likely return for 2002. "We'll find a way to be back," Forest promised.