Water Polo: El Rancho to much for Rowland, 16-9

By John Sherrard, correspondent

The El Rancho High School boys water polo team has been on a scoring frenzy lately and the Dons didn’t let up in a nonleague game Monday.

The Dons, who have scored 125 goals in their first seven games of the season, defeated visiting Rowland, 16-9.

El Rancho (6-1) was led by senior 2-meter driver Christian Polanco with a game-high six goals. Thomas Duenas added four goals.

“They’ve (Polanco and Duenas) been playing on varsity since my first year here and they’ve had a chance to work together,” third-year El Rancho coach Sammy Wright said.

“We’ve turned misfortune into a good situation (at El Rancho).”


Polanco now has scored 35 goals on the season, while Duenas has 33.

Rowland (6-8) was led by senior utility man Alex Phillips with three goals while junior driver Vinny Edwards scored twice.

Polanco gave the Dons the early 1-0 lead on a backhand shot in close and El Rancho never looked back.

El Rancho, which recently won its own tournament last week going 4-0, started out with a flourish in the first quarter, building a 7-2 lead, behind Polanco’s four goals and Duenas’ three.

“We’re best friends and every game we like to put it to them early,” Polanco said of he and Duenas.

In the first quarter, Rowland was without its starting goalie, sophomore Michael Teng, who had a late class. He played the final three quarters.

Rowland settled down in the second quarter and started to double-team Polanco, but could only muster one goal by Phillips with 1:28 left to trail 10-3.

Rowland played El Rancho tight and allowed only three goals in the third as senior driver Linson Huang and Phillips scored.

Phillips’ goal came on a man advantage after El Rancho sophomore goal keeper Michael Morales was ejected for rough play.

“My main 2-meter man is Vinny (Edwards) and they (El Rancho) did a good job of shutting him down,” Rowland coach Jon Buzzerio said.

Edwards didn’t score until early in the fourth and on a breakaway in the last minute of the game.

Buzzerio, who was a part of the Rowland CIF-Southern Section championship teams in the late 90s, praised the El Rancho defense.

Jacob Pena and Luis Torres added two goals each for El Rancho.

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    El Rancho’s Christian Polanco score a goal as they play Rowland in their pre-season water polo game at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera on Monday September 17, 2012.