May 17, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

No. 2 seeded Northwood tops Vista Murrieta 18-9 in opening round of Division 3 water polo playoffs

Spencer Sellwood of Northwood fires a shot in Tuesday’s match. (Photos courtesy Michael An)

Northwood’s boys water polo team took the first step in what it will be a long road to the CIF Division 3 finals defeating Vista Murrieta 18-9 Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the playoffs at Northwood.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

No. 2 seeded Northwood (22-7) scored on a goal by Max Abravanel, the first of five for the junior, and led the rest of the way to move on to the second round Thursday at Hoover.

“We’ve been stressing the importance of high intensity from the very beginning and I think we had to make a couple adjustments in the first quarter but then after the first quarter, the boys did a really good job of adjusting and pushing the counter attack which is exactly what we needed to do,” said Northwood Coach Kyle Kim-E.

Northwood led 4-2 after one quarter and held a commanding 9-3 advantage at halftime.

The Timberwolves had a balanced attack. Cameron An and Spencer Sellwood had three goals each and Leo Giessman and Charlie Shobe had two goals apiece.

“It was very good balanced scoring,” Kim-E said. “And it was also nice that we got to have everyone off of our bench play some good minutes too. It was a really nice team win.”

Now, it’s on to the second round.

“Obviously, we’re taking it one game at a time,” Kim-E said. “We know we have a really good shot as long as we stay focused and are confident and we’re making sure that we prepare for every single game like it’s going to be one of the toughest games we play all year.”

Vista Murrieta was led by Dylan Short, who scored seven of his team’s goals.