Tourney tests Tigers mettle
Water polo Battling experienced teams for the first time this season, NHS struggles offensively but manages to place fifth at its own tourney
In rebuilding mode following the graduation of every starter from last years state championship squad, Newberg faced adversity for the first time this season at its own tournament Friday and Saturday at the Chehalem Aquatic Center.
How the Tigers respond moving forward will go a long way toward determining their fate for the season, but for stretches over the weekend, it was a struggle.
Newbergs problems came mostly on the offensive end, where it had difficulty passing the ball under pressure from defenses. That was evident Friday afternoon in a 10-1 loss to West Albany in which the Tigers didnt get on the scoreboard until the final quarter and managed to generate just four shots for the game.
Newberg bounced back with a 10-8 win over Ashland as Tia Lattanzio and Viktoria Johnson registered three goals apiece and Grace Brockie made six blocks.
The Tigers knew it would be uphill sledding against longtime nemesis Tualatin, which proved to be the case, as the Timberwolves established a 7-1 lead by halftime and never relinquished control en route to a 12-4 win
Head coach Jim McMaster said the way he scheduled the tournament didnt do his own team any favors as by the time they faced Lincoln for a spot in the third-place game it was their third game of the day.
Newberg fell behind 3-0 after one quarter, but held the Cardinals scoreless in the second and third periods to pull within 3-2 entering the fourth quarter.
Thats when the players seemed to hit the wall. McMaster pulled a few from the game to powwow about their play, and during that span Lincoln began to pull away for a 7-2 win.
The Tigers faced off against Lakeridge in the fifth place match and despite the long day, rolled to a 13-0 win. Alena Lidey Lam, Jackson and Lattanzio scored three goals apiece in the win, while the Tiger defense held the Pacers to one shot for the game.
The more they play, the better they are going to get, McMaster said. Theyre just learning and hopefully they keep doing it.
The team was a bit sluggish Monday in the early going of a rematch at Lakeridge, but the team rallied to pull out a 7-4 win with three goals from Lidey Lam.
Newberg will face another test Thursday at home versus Tigard before heading to Parkrose for a tournament Friday and Saturday.