By Ted Apodaca
The Los Alamitos boys water polo team reached the CIF-SS Division 3 quarterfinals before suffering a last second loss to Dos Pueblos, 12-11, on Saturday at Ocean View High.
The Griffins had reached the quarterfinal match with a 10-6 win over La Quinta of La Quinta last week at Ocean View High. Los Alamitos led La Quinta just 8-6 at the end of the third quarter, but shut out the Blackhawks in the final quarter to pull away for the win.
The match was tied 3-3 at the end of the first and the Griffins led 7-5 at halftime. Griffin assistant coach Josh Bradley said the swing came when the Griffin defense began to put more pressure on the Blackhawks’ top shooters. He also said the Griffins have played solid team defense during the year.
“On any given day on defense it’s whoever decides to step up that’s the way this team is, any guy can step up,” Bradley said.
Jackson Lawrence led the Griffins scoring in the win over La Quinta with three goals, while Gabe Browning and Reilly Duncan each scored two. La Quinta scored a goal with 3:33 left in the third to cut the Griffin lead to 8-6, but the Griffins shut them down the rest of the way.
Early in the fourth, Lawrence scored his third goal of the match to push the lead to 9-6. About midway through the fourth, Duncan scored his second goal to extend the lead to 10-6.
La Quinta tied the match at 3-3 and again at 4-4 early in the second quarter but Browning scored to give the Griffins a 5-4 lead, which they would not relinquish again. Daniel Mori, Charlie Pedneault and Jack Ryan each added a goal
“It’s all about the spacing,” Bradley said of the offensive attack.
In the quarterfinals, the Griffins led 11-9 late in the match, but Dos Pueblos scored three late goals to win the match and end the Griffins’ run. Los Alamitos had opened the playoffs with a 14-9 win over Corona on the road.