Tigers remain on cruise control in the water
Boys water polo Newberg wins its own tournament to go along with wins over Lincoln and Lake Oswego
Newberg has its sights set firmly upon a state championship showdown with rival Southridge, but with the Skyhawks off the schedule until the playoffs, the unbeaten Tigers are keeping themselves busy with training and by feasting on weaker opponents.
Newberg strolled to six wins over the last week, beginning with a 13-3 drubbing of Lincoln on Sept. 27.
Spencer McMaster led the way with a seven-goal performance, while Craig Beecher played the role of distributor, handing out seven assists.
The Tigers hosted a tournament Friday and Saturday and despite a few sluggish first quarters, were never really threatened, outscoring their four opponents 57-17.
The scoring was rather balanced in the opening 11-2 victory over West Albany, with McMaster tallying three goals. Landry Saunders and Zach Schrage scored two apiece and Kyle Hansen blocked 10 shots in net.
Newberg, which usually calls off the dogs quite early, were pushed by Ashland, leading just 8-4 at halftime, but pulled away to win 17-7 thanks, in part, another seven-goal performance from McMaster.
Eight different players scored in a 12-4 victory over Mountain View in the tournament semifinal, which saw Hansen make eight blocks.
Corbin Day, Beecher and McMaster scored three goals apiece in the 17-4 win over Tualatin in the title game, with Landry Saunders, David Flores-Juarez and Barrett Allen each scoring twice.
The Tigers were back in the Che-halem Aquatic Center pool on Monday, but were a bit sloppy and lackadaisical before dispatching Lake Oswego 14-5. McMaster and Beecher had four goals apiece in the win, which saw Hansen make nine saves.
Newberg is taking a different approach to training this year, as the top varsity players have joined the Chehalem Swim Team to work on their endurance, which also allows coach Jim McMaster to focus solely on polo during the teams 90-minute practices.
Its definitely paying dividends in the water, McMaster said. If you keep tally of the games, well stay even with some teams for the first three quarters, but by the fourth quarter they run out of gas and we keep going. We dont stop when other teams do because of those extra thousands of yards that weve put in every day.
Flores-Juarez and Schrage have emerged as starters recently, joining regulars McMaster, Beecher, Landry and Day, but Seth Miller and Barrett Allen are still in the mix as well.
David Flores has recently moved up as a starter and hes showing his potential, McMaster said. Hes doing good things for our team right now. Its the same with Zach Shrage. Whoever performs is going to get the starting position.
As usual the team will test itself against top-notch competition from across the country at the Modesto Invitational later this month, which it also hopes will prime them for when they eventually run into Southridge.
Were working hard because we know Southridge wants to come back and destroy us, McMaster said. Our goal is to obliterate them at state championships.