By Ted Apodaca
A fast start gave the Buena Park High boys water polo team enough momentum to carry them to a 9-6 victory over Foothill Tech, in the CIF-SS Division 6 quarterfinals on Saturday at Troy High.
The Coyotes scored three goals in the final two minutes of the first quarter to take a 4-1 lead at the end of the first. From there, the Coyote defense kept the Dragons at bay until the match was in hand.
“We started strong and had a great first quarter … that’s what, in a sense, won the game for us,” Buena Park Coach Scott Liddicoat said.
Steven Marmolejo scored at the 5:01 mark in the second quarter to push the Coyote lead to 5-1. Kevin Elizarraraz scored two more goals in the next minute and a half to extend the Coyote lead to 7-1. Elizarraraz had a team-high five goals to lead the offense. Joey Suarez had two goals, while Marmolejo and Jurai Kasai each added one. Liddicoat said the defense helped set up the offense.
“Team defense led to our counter attack and that was huge,” Liddicoat said.
Goal keeper Ramnson Rebollar had 13 saves to anchor the defense. Foothill Tech scored three goals to cut the lead to 7-4 by halftime, but that would be as close as they would get. Buena Park scored a goal in the third and another early in the fourth to push the lead back to 9-4 before stretching the offense to run out the clock.
Buena Park was the fourth place in the Freeway League, but with a 18 wins overall and coming from a strong league, the Coyotes were awarded the No. 2 seed in the division. They opened with a 15-6 win over Los Amigos and followed that with an 8-5 win over Elsinore, prior to the win over Foothill Tech.