Wednesday’s CIF-SS boys water polo semifinals
KATELLA (16-2) vs. SHADOW HILLS OF INDIO (16-11)
Site, time: Indio High, 6 p.m.
Outlook: Postseason newcomer Shadow Hills finished fourth in the challenging Desert Valley League and claimed the No. 4 seed in the 16-team bracket. The league produced Division 4 quarterfinalist La Quinta of La Quinta, Division 6 top seed and semifinalist Xavier Prep and Palm Desert, a playoff team in Division 4. Shadow Hills struggled against the three teams, going 0 for 6 and losing by an average of 14.5 goals. But the squad faced higher competition than top-seeded Katella and has won three road playoff games. Dylan VanBuskirk leads Shadow Hills with 118 goals while Derek VanBuskirk has 202 saves. Katella has been the top seed in the division all season. The Knights captured the first two titles in newly-created Division 7 in 2008 and 2009. Katella returns to the semifinals for the first time since 2009. The Orange League champion could have an advantage in coaching experience with multi-CIF champion head coach Dave Mikesell and assistant OJ Vazquez, a former assistant at Mater Dei. The well-balanced team, led by left-hander Gio Marin, likes to press and counterattack. The Katella-Shadow Hills winner plays the winner of No. 2 Santa Maria-No. 3 Chaffey in the finals Saturday.Read the rest of this entry »