Northwood sinks water polo in 2nd round of CIF playoffs

After rebounding from a slow start to sweep the Mission League, the boys’ water polo team lost in the second round of CIF playoffs Nov. 10 to Northwood High School.

The Wolverines gave up their lead in the final minutes of regulation after holding onto it for most of the game, and a tie sent them into two three-minute overtimes with the Timberwolves. Northwood scored two goals quickly in the first period and held the Wolverines scoreless in overtime, resulting in a 11-9 victory.

“We had the lead and we controlled for most of the game,” Head Coach Larry Felix said. “We let the mental errors get to us. We didn’t get beat, we lost it.”

Although it was an abrupt end to the team’s turnaround season, Felix commends the effort put forth by the boys after their rocky preseason play.

“We just couldn’t put it together, and there was a stretch where we lost seven of nine games by a total of eight points,” he said. “We don’t play any patty cakes, and our schedule isn’t easy.”

The team won two tight victories against rival Loyola to do this, games which Felix recalls as his favorite memories from the season.

“A couple of the Loyola players made comments to a local paper about how they wanted to beat us,” he said. “We weren’t predicted to take league, but after reading that, the boys came together to beat a good Loyola team.”

Regardless, Felix still feels the team should have done better, and hopes this season will leave an impression on next year’s returners.

“The boys know they could have played better; they’ve all said it at some point,” he said. “Hopefully, the younger kids learned from what we did this season and will keep the tradition next year.”