Newberg tips Southridge 9-7 to win tourney
Class 6A water polo The Tigers clamp down on the Skyhawks top two players and hit from long range to earn the second battle between the states water polo powerhouse programs
Ever since playing rival Southridge to an 11-11 tie earlier in the season, Newberg has been chomping at the bit to get another shot at the Skyhawks.
The Tigers got their wish this weekend at the West Metro Tournament in Beaverton, where they played strong defense to prevail 9-7 in the championship game Sunday.
Were just in better shape and it was an all-deep pool; we didnt have to worry about bouncing off the bottom, head coach Jim McMaster said. The guys were ready to play and they wanted this game. They went after them.
The Tigers opened the week with a rather standard 13-1 victory over Tigard at the Chehalem Aquatic Center, as Landry Saunders dished out four assists and four goals.
Craig Beecher scored three times to lead Newberg to a 9-1 win over Mountain View (Bend) in the opening game of the tournament Friday, then added three more goals and two assists later that night in a 10-2 decision over Mountain View of Auburn, Wash. Spencer McMaster also had three goals, three assists and five steals in the game-two win.
Eric Wilson and Beecher connected for three goals apiece as Newberg throttled West Albany 13-1 Saturday. Wilson followed up with four more goals in a 17-1 drubbing of Lakeridge that saw 10 different Tigers score at least one goal.
Facing Mercer Island, Wash., Sunday, Beecher paced Newberg to a 9-2 win with four goals, setting up the showdown versus Southridge in the title game.
Newberg jumped out to a 3-2 lead after one quarter, but the Skyhawks knotted the contest at 4-4 going into halftime.
Focusing on shutting down Southridges top two players, the Tigers built a 7-6 lead after three quarters and eventually held on for the win.
Our job was to basically take them out of their game and thats what we did, McMaster said. Those two players got two goals apiece, whereas one of them, last time we played, got like eight goals. So our job was to watch those two guys, shut them down as much as possible and deny them what they wanted.
Led by Spencer McMaster, who also scored four goals and had two assists, Newberg drew a total of seven earned ejections while having just three of its own and was able to muster enough offense on counter attacks and long-range shots to pull out the win.
Our defense is tough and thats what Im trying to build with our swimming ability, McMaster said. David Flores is really coming on as a player, too. Hes really fast and in addition to that speed now he understands the game better, so hes really helping us out.
The Tigers also earned an 11-8 win over Forest Grove Monday, playing its reserves in the process, and will host Lincoln at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday before holding its own tournament Friday and Saturday at the aquatic center.