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Trabuco Hills uses late surge to grab wild-card victory
Trabuco Hills senior Jeff Igarashi believed the comeback was possible even when it seemed unlikely Tuesday night.
And as the Mustangs’ boys water polo team kept getting closer to that goal, something special happened.
“The excitement got to us and we played our best game,” Igarashi said.
Igarashi scored on a direct shot from about 9 meters with one second left in the fourth period as Trabuco Hills rallied from a five-goal deficit with 41/2 minutes remaining to beat host Brea Olinda, 12-11, in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 wild-card playoff match.
Igarashi drew the foul against the Wildcats’ press and fired a shot into the upper left corner to send the Mustangs (10-18) into Wednesday’s first-round game at fourth-seeded Moorpark.
Brea Olinda (16-13) led, 11-6, with 4:35 left in the fourth but Trabuco Hills, the third-place team from the Sea View, closed with six consecutive goals thanks to hot outside shooting and an effective press.
The Mustangs rallied in the fourth without Anthony Marin (elbow) and Luke McCreary (team rules).
Igarashi scored three of his game-high five goals in the stretch. Liam Scott tied the score, 11-11, with a goal with 31 seconds left, converting after a steal by Robbie Hagerty.
Goalie Alan Cerise (12 saves) then blocked a perimeter backhand shot from Josh Kim, who had earlier scored on a similar attempt, and the Mustangs called timeout with 14 seconds left.
“The five-goal deficit, I got to be honest, wasn’t very promising,” Trabuco Hills coach Matt Kubeck said. “(Our) press worked.”
Brea Olinda, which didn’t play a senior in the field, led, 8-6, going into the fourth and netted the first three goals of the period, including one by sophomore Logan Forde (four goals).
“I tell them to take it as huge learning lesson,” Brea Olinda coach Mario Ruiz said of his team.
Senior goalie Gavin Gray had 14 saves for Brea Olinda, the second-place team from the North Hills League. Joseph Kim added three goals for Trabuco Hills.
Also in Division 3:
Estancia 14, Mark Keppel 7: Jason Chesemore scored eight goals to lead the visiting Eagles, who play at No. 1 Murrieta Valley on Wednesday.
In Division 5:
Sage Hill 14, Xavier Prep 7: Zane Drobenko scored six goals and Rachael Jaffe made 10 saves at Woollett to lead the Lightning, which plays at Ayala on Wednesday.
In Division 6
Ocean View 10, Cypress 7: Nico Falcon made 15 saves and Daniel Isogawa scored three goals to lead the host Seahawks, who play at Beaumont in the first round Thursday.
In Division 7:
Los Amigos 13, San Gorgonio of San Bernardino 8: Jacob Duyon scored seven goals at Garden Grove to lead the Lobos, who play at Colony on Wednesday.
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