Water Polo Playoffs: La Canada, Poly advance to finals

Jubilant Pasadena Poly High players exit the water after their 11-9 win over La Serna High in Wednesday’s CIF-SS Division 5 playoff match. (Leo Jarzomb / Staff Photographer)

Poly 11, La Serna 9
Pasadena Poly High School, which suffered a pair of one-goal losses to La Serna during the regular season, knows the feeling.
Dennis Grover scored three goals and the Panthers used a big first quarter en route to an 11-9 victory over the Lancers in a CIF-Southern Section Division 5 semifinal at Mt. SAC.
Poly, also getting two goals each from Omar Dairi, Spencer Rogers and Brock Hudnut and some key saves from Josh Ball, improved to 25-2 and will face Glendale, which beat Riverside Poly, 14-7, in Saturday’s championship match scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine.
La Serna (22-8) was led by George Mooney with four goals.
Poly coach Ryan Katsuyama: “When a team beats you (twice), the third time around is all about revenge. These guys were very motivated to win this game. This victory came at a great time for us. It doesn’t matter what happens in the regular season, the wins are bigger in the playoffs, and that’s what we got today.”

La Canada 11, Palos Verdes 8
The wild card came through for the La Canada High School water polo team on Wednesday afternoon.
Goalkeeper Jeff Lee made seemingly impossible stops in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 semifinal game against Palos Verdes at Irvine High’s Woollett Aquatics Center. He stopped shots with his head. He stopped one-on-one and point-blank shots, too.
The result was a harrowing 11-8 victory to send the top seeded Spartans to Saturday’s championship game. La Canada can extract revenge, of sorts, facing Martin Luther King in the 11:30 a.m. game at Woollett. The Wolves of Riverside defeated the La Canada volleyball team in Tuesday’s semifinals. King defeated Mira Costa, 7-6 minutes before the Spartans took to the pool. La Canada and King both defeated the top two teams from the Bay League.
Lee stopped 19 of the Sea Kings’ 36 shots.
La Canada coach Devon Borisoff; “Jeff is a big-game player. He can be a question mark, but he is always at his best in the biggest games in the most pressure-packed games. I don’t know what it is about it. Usually it is the goalie that gets a little nervous. He had one of his best games ever. He was phenomenal.”

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