SOUTH PASADENA — A five-goal game-ending run by the South Pasadena High boys’ water polo team ended hopes of a potentially large upset for visiting Flintridge Prep on Thursday afternoon.
The CIF Southern Section Division V fourth-ranked Rebels were even with the Division III fourth-ranked Tigers before being outscored by a five-goal margin in an 11-6 nonleague defeat in the season-opener for the Rebels.
“We played well for one half and then our youth showed a little in the second half,” said Rebels assistant coach Jeff Chase, who was filling in for head Coach Dan Hare, who missed the contest for personal reasons. “South Pasadena is a very good team, very big and they showed that more in the second half.”
Flintridge Prep’s final goal came at the 3:43 mark in the third quarter and was turned in by senior John Treinen, thanks in part to a six-on-five situation.
That score was the second of two straight goals for Treinen, who led his squad with four goals, and knotted the contest at 6.
From that point, the Tigers flexed their muscles in scoring the contest’s last five goals over the final 10:43.
South Pasadena immediately gave itself separation when senior driver Pierce Deamer (game-high six goals) scored off a Rebels’ kickoff to put Flintridge Prep ahead, 7-6, with 2:39 remaining in the third.
For good measure, Deamer scored again with 1:05 remaining in the quarter off an assist from Matt DeFulgentis to give the Tigers a two-goal lead after three periods.
“We were a little shaky and little anxious to start this game,” said Tigers first-year Coach Michael Gonzales, who is taking over for long-time fixture Robert Echeverria. “Once we settled and stopped making mistakes, we took control.”
South Pasadena (2-0) scored on its opening possession of the fourth quarter on a goal from Cameron Lee in going up three. It ultimately iced the game at the 4:26 mark when Andrew Wright scored off a rare six-on-four opportunity in which South Pasadena attempted four shots.
The Tigers’ final goals came with 2:13 left in the contest.
By comparison, the Rebels struggled in the fourth quarter, as all five shot attempts were blocked by Tigers goalie Donnie Duckworth, while the team committed three turnovers.
“South Pasadena is a good team and we knew it was going to be tough,” said Rebels junior Diego Delgado, who scored one goal and added five steals. “They have a tough goalie, so you can’t be too disappointed.”
The Rebels goaltending duo of Alex Hirsch and Anton Verbinski finished with five saves combined.