Cypress' boys water polo team and Coach Ryan Poole, far right, took a major step toward the Empire League title with a convincing victory at Kennedy on Thursday.

Roundup: Surging Cypress routs Kennedy, claims share of Empire title


The calendar says most of the CIF-Ss playoff contenders in boys water polo should have surfaced by now.

Cypress held its coming out party Thursday, and the timing was perfect.

Left-handed sophomore center Garrett Potter scored five goals and junior goalie Jadon Morales made 11 saves, including one against a penalty, to help the Centurions capture at least a share of the Empire League title with a 14-5 victory at Kennedy.

Mario Ilincic, Erik Papke and Alberto Cortes each added two goals for Cypress (17-8, 4-0), which seized sole possession of first place by defeating the Fighting Irish (20-8, 3-1).

The Centurions scored 11 consecutive goals at one stretch, making their boldest statement yet.

Cypress isn’t ranked in the top 10 of CIF-SS Division 5, but it can enter the playoffs as an undefeated league champion with a victory against defending league champion Valencia next week.

“We can definitely push teams early in the (CIF) tournament for sure,” Cypress coach Ryan Poole said. “I think we have the potential to get far.

“We have all these things that we do really well. There’s depth. They’re consistent.”

Cypress showed multiple scoring threats at center. Potter, Cortes and Ilincic shared time setting 2 meters. Cortes drew seven exclusions, creating ample opportunities for a power play that finished 6 for 11.

Morales blocked a penalty shot in the first quarter and anchored a defense that held Kennedy scoreless for 21 minutes, 15 seconds during one stretch and 1 for 7 with the extra attacker.

Cory Welliver scored three goals for Kennedy, the league champion in 2014.

In the Trinity League:

No. 1 Orange Lutheran 13, No. 8 Santa Margarita 8: Parker Killion racked up six steals as the visiting Lancers (20-2, 4-0) clinched at least a share of their first league title.

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