May 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Top seeded Tustin boys water polo team off to CIF Division 6 semifinals after three playoff victories

Tustin’s Carlos Sabillon heads in to try and score against Estancia Saturday. (Tim Burt photo)

Tustin’s top-seeded boys water polo made the hometown fans happy Saturday afternoon, capturing an 11-7 victory over Estancia in the quarterfinals of the CIF Division 6 playoffs at Tustin.

A large contingent of Tustin fans along with a good number of Estancia backers were on hand for the match. Tustin, seeking the second CIF boys water polo title in school history (the last one came in 1982) moves on to the semifinals Wednesday at 5 p.m. against Hillcrest at Foothill.

Saturday’s match was tied 1-1 after one quarter but Tustin broke the game open outscoring Estancia 5-1 in the second quarter to break it open.

“It was a really fun game and both teams came out and since we’ve already played each other, each team knew what to expect so it was a vastly different game from the first time,” said Tustin Coach Kyle Brawley. “They knew a lot of our threats and they did a great job adapting to that and we were ready for what they had.

“Overall, I think both teams put forth a great effort and luckily we were ready for them and took care of business today.”:

In the end, Tustin (16-10) had too more firepower, led by Carlos Sabillon and Kaleb Anderson, who had three goals each and Tyler Bagnol, who had two goals.

Tustin also got a strong effort from first year varsity player, goalkeeper Scott Olsen, who “has come a really long way and stepped up to be a real leader on the team,” Brawley said.

Noah Gniffke had three goals and Logan Richard two to lead Estancia.

Brawley said he and his assistant coach Cesar Altamirano have been impressed with the Tillers’ work ethic. Tustin opened with a 15-4 victory over Warren before defeating West Torrance 14-3.

“The way we talk about each game with the boys is as if you’re going to work and every single day you want to bring professionalism to what you do,” he said. “So we treat every practice and every game that way and we don’t really worry about what’s next. We just try and do the best job we can do with the situation we’re in.”

The winner of Wednesday’s match-up will move on to the finals Saturday against the winner of the Culver City-Valley View winner.

“We’re not too focused on that game yet, we have another game in front of us and the boys are real excited  to show everybody  how far we’ve come over the last few years,” Brawley said. “It’s been a lot of fun coaching these boys and they’ve worked incredibly hard.”

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com