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Water polo battles No. 2 Granite Hills before quarterfinal loss

 

Last updated 11/21/2007 at Noon



Fallbrook High School’s boys water polo team fell to second-seeded Granite Hills in the CIF Division I quarterfinal playoff match November 10, but not before the two teams battled throughout all four quarters.

“We were in the game up until the last two minutes,” said Fallbrook coach Michael Hatcher. “We played well.”

Although the Eagles won the game played at La Jolla’s Coggan Pool by a 12-10 score, the two teams were tied at the end of the first quarter and after three periods, and Fallbrook rallied from a halftime deficit.

“We actually pulled out to the lead to start the game,” Hatcher said. “It kind of went back and forth the first quarter.”

The Eagles, who ended the regular season with a 17-5 record, scored on consecutive possessions in the final two minutes to break a 10-10 tie.

“It kind of came down to the last couple of possessions,” Hatcher said. “As a seventh seed, playing the second-seeded team to our last two minutes was huge for us.”

The top four seeds are official; the fifth through twelfth seeds are unofficial and may be juggled to avoid first-round playoff games between league opponents. Fallbrook’s seventh seeding gave the Warriors a first-round contest November 7 against tenth-seeded Eastlake. That game was tied at eight goals apiece after three periods before the Warriors scored six consecutive fourth-quarter goals en route to a 14-9 victory.

“We finished better than we did last year, which is always what you want for a team,” Hatcher said.

The 2006 Warriors had a 12-15 regular-season record, including a fourth-place 5-5 mark in Avocado League play, before losing 10-8 to Westview in the first round of the CIF playoffs. The 2007 squad posted an 11-9 overall regular-season won-loss statistic, including a 5-3 record in Avocado League competition worth third place in the standings.

The 2006 team had five seniors. The 2007 roster contained three senior players: Garrett Bishop, Stott Bushnell, and Nick Fast.

“I’m happy where we are,” Hatcher said. “You always feel like you could have done better, but they really stepped up.”

 

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