A fourth-quarter rally pulled the Oak Ridge varsity boys water polo team closer to the visiting Jesuit Marauders Wednesday afternoon but the Trojans’ efforts fell short and the team lost 9-12.
“We just played the top team in our league and came out 12-9, very respectable,” said coach Don McCormick. “The guys really did pick it up and showed some heart out there.”
The opening quarter at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District pool favored the Marauders who jumped out to a 4-0 advantage and kept the Trojans scoreless in the second while adding three more goals to their total.
The Trojans heated up in the third with some aggressive passing and a goal scored by senior Joshua Verner. A quick steal gave the Trojans a second opportunity to score but Jesuit’s goalie deflected junior Bryan Bare’s throw. No problem. On their next possession Bare threw to junior Bryan Cole, who slapped it in for goal two.
Oak Ridge’s in-your-face defense put the Marauders in some hot water but the opponents’ skills still netted them an eighth goal.
With three minutes gone by in the pool junior Jeremy Levine responded with Oak Ridge’s third goal and Bare threw in the fourth goal while Jesuit was a man down.
The Marauders called in new players to adjust to Oak Ridge’s more aggressive play and after some Trojan missed shots Jesuit banked two more goals. The Trojans responded with some key steals and three goals of their own from Cole, Verner and Levine.
The teams traded goals, two to two, in the last minutes of the game with the Trojans’ final goal coming from senior Garrison Yeandle. Goalie Jeremy Chambliss, an Oak Ridge senior, made some key blocks, preventing the Marauders from racking up any more goals before the final buzzer.