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Troy proves too much for Sunny Hills
Troy and Sunny Hills’ boys water polo teams were bonded by similar pool challenges Wednesday night in their Freeway League clash.
But the Warriors’ early pace separated the rivals and pushed Troy to a 12-8 victory at Fullerton College.
Defending league champion Troy (11-6, 2-0) scored the first five goals in the first half and led, 12-2, 40 seconds into the fourth period.
Sunny Hills (7-5, 1-1), the league champion in 2014, closed with a 6-0 run but its surge ran out of time.
Both teams have been practicing at alternate sites for several months as 45-meter pool projects progress on their campuses.
“It’s been tough,” said Troy coach Jason Wilson, whose varsity team practices at Fullerton College. “Knowing there’s nothing you can do about it, (we’ve had) to toughen up and go through it and do the best we can. … The guys have been great.”
Troy opened the 5-0 lead behind a diverse attack and strong press defense.
About a minute into the first period, Tanner Henkhaus beat three defenders en route to a counterattack strike.
Niko Vaccher put away a rebound in front of the net for another Troy goal about a minute later.
Henkhaus added a goal as the Warriors built a 3-0 lead after the first period.
Left-handed Griffin Kessler capped another counterattack with a cross-cage lob shot for a goal with 4:35 left in the second period and center Andrew Kim added a strike from 2 meters to make it 5-0.
The Warriors’ defense didn’t allow a goal until an extra-man strike by Bradley Olivolo with 1:11 left in the first half.
Kim finished with a game-high four goals while goalie Brian Wilder added nine saves. The Warriors also held Sunny Hills to a 3-for-7 effort on the power play.
The flurry in the fourth period was a positive for the Lancers, whose new pool is expected to open in December.
“That’s really how we play, going to a full press like that,” Sunny Hills coach Keith Nighswonger said. “We’ll see if we can start off that way next time.”
Jared Tanielu scored twice to lead Sunny Hills.
In another game at Fullerton College, Sonora, last season’s Freeway League runner-up, held off La Habra, 12-11, to improve to 2-0 in league.
In another Freeway League game:
Fullerton 10, Buena Park 7: Chris Frias scored five goals to help lead the Indians (1-1 in league) at Fullerton College.
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