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Skyhawks water polo keep winning, beats Beavers

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridges Mark Moshofsky rears back and fires over Beavertons Jackson Warner in the first half of the Skyhawks win.

The secret’s out.

The Southridge boys’ water polo team only has one designed play in its paper-thin playbook, a sole setup that it runs at nauseam to wither away antagonists.

Only problem for Metro teams that get giddy over that fact is the two-time defending state champions are so well-endowed and supplied with talent that the Skyhawks don’t need plays. They can just freelance on the fly and let their creative scoring instincts prevail.

Southridge ran its solitary play to death against Beaverton on Sept. 26, and let its primary scorers pull the team to a 17-9 success.

“One play has worked so far,” said Southridge’s Darius Diamond. “It’s pretty much one trained play with a lot of variations. We only really have one play, so we have to work on different plays.”

There will come a time, possibly in the 6A state championship against Newberg in early November, when Southridge will have to execute and expand more than a basic offensive set.

But, for now, it’s entertaining to watch creative players like Matt Braun and David Stiling go off the cuff and trifle with top-notch talent.by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridges Kieran Halewyn passes toward the Skyhawks goal in the middle of Beavertons defense.

Braun notched another hat trick in the game’s first four minutes to open a 3-0 lead. Then, Stiling sent a sound pass to the right paw of Mark Moshofsky, who made a one-handed catch-and-fire into the cage to go up 5-0. Blake Hokkanen and Kieran Halewyn also heaped on goals to go up 7-0.

“I thought we did great,” said Southridge’s Davey Duncan. “We need to work on our defense and hitting the post hard, but we played well.”

“We’re good with the starts, but after that, if we lose the ball, it’s kind of hard to get it back sometimes,” added Diamond.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridges Camden Rimby passes to a teammate in the first quarter of the Skyhawks win over Beaverton.

Forced to shoot

Beaverton had a chance to score with Southridge’s offense out of position, but Hokkanen hawked the Beavers’ shot attempt near the goal, then set off the Skyhawks’ counter by throwing ahead to Moshofsky. With Halewyn whirling down the right wing, Moshofsky unselfishly flipped the ball to his teammates, who put the Skyhawks up 7-0 at the end of the first.

“Defensive-wise we didn’t stop them very well, especially their starting guys,” said Beaverton captain Jeff Soles “But, overall I think our team adapted well to the refs and their players. We gave it our best shot.”

“Someone drives, we pass to the set, and they score. That’s pretty much all we do,” said Diamond. “We lost to Newberg, so there is stuff we need to work on.”

Beaverton found measures of success in the second quarter when Jackson Warner, Gordon House and Chris Gilroy carved their way inside the Skyhawk defense and released shots into the back of the cage. The Beavers’ defense stepped up too, holding Southridge to just one goal in the second quarter to make it 8-4 at halftime.

Warner said the Beavers capitalized when Southridge took out its first unit and inserted some of its younger players. Beaverton opts to double-team the opponent’s stronger players and work on shutting them down so the lesser experienced players are forced to shoot.

“We could really push them around a little more than the other guys could,” said Warner. “Southridge is always going to be a tough game, but in the second and fourth quarters, we really realized we could step it up against the less bulked-up squad.”

“We drove to get the ejection a lot more,” added Soles. “We drove to get the foul or shoot outside the five. We worked on passing the ball to the one and the five to get our inside water and get the shot off. We definitely got a lot more aggressive at the end of the game.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton's Gordon House fights off Southridges Arman Grigorian in the second quarter of the Beavers defeat on Thursday.

Adapting game

Vying against the two-time defending state champions was a good benchmark for the Beavers, a way of seeing what particular areas need to be upgraded as the season goes along.

“This is a rebuilding year for us,” said Warner. “We lost like eight or nine seniors this year. It’s always good to get a challenge like this to know what we could be if we work hard and play more. We’re a defensive team. That’s what we work on constantly. If we just keep working, we can play these guys again and beat them next time.”

In the third quarter, Stiling added three more goals, one off a pass from Braun and the other on a cross-water offering from Hokkanen to push Southridge’s lead to 10-4. Braun added three more goals off of post-ups close to the cage, and Hokkanen completed his own personal hat trick to go up 14-4.

In the fourth, Beaverton’s Nate Soles fended off a defenders with his right arm and wrapped a shot around Southridge’s keeper into the cage. Klayton Fink powered home an offensive rebound, and Jeff Soles stole two passes, pushed the ball ahead to himself and scored to sear Southridge’s lead to 16-8. Warner and Soles engaged in a pretty two-on-one fastbreak that resulted in Warner’s second goal of the contest.

Warner said he hopes the Beavers learned a great deal about their potential moving forward into Metro and said they look forward to proving Thursday’s loss was a one-time ordeal.

“We have to realize we never want to feel this again,” said Warner. “It really gives us motivation to go to practice and work as hard as we possibly can to compete in the tough Metro League. We go to practice with the mentality that we can beat anyone in this league, and that’s what our plan is.”



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  • 23 Oct 2014

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