A 14-12 win October 29 at home against Torrey Pines High School gave Fallbrook High School’s boys’ water polo team the 2009 Avocado League championship and also gave Fallbrook High School senior Jacob Pril the CIF San Diego Section all-time single-season record for goals scored.
“Emotionally for Fallbrook water polo it was a big day,” said Fallbrook coach Bob Lamont.
The win gave Fallbrook an 8-0 record in league competition with two games remaining.
The league loss was the third of the season for Torrey Pines, and Fallbrook had given Escondido its third league loss in the Warriors’ previous game October 27 at Jim Stone Pool in Escondido.
The win over Torrey Pines improved Fallbrook’s overall season record to 20-7.
The match against Escondido was tied at five goals apiece when the halftime whistle blew, but Fallbrook returned home with a 14-7 victory.
“They showed a lot of heart to play it through to the end,” Lamont said.
Escondido is the only team other than Fallbrook to have beaten Torrey Pines in Avocado League play, while Torrey Pines is the only team other than the Warriors to give Escondido a league loss.
The first league match between Fallbrook and Escondido was a 16-9 Warrior win October 8 at Fallbrook in which the Warriors led by a 9-6 score at halftime before taking a six-goal lead after three periods.
Fallbrook had lost its 2008 game against Escondido at Jim Stone Pool. “With Escondido you never know going into Jim Stone Pool,” Lamont said.
Fallbrook’s veteran players remembered that loss and didn’t take the October 27 matchup for granted. “They were ready for that game,” Lamont said.
Escondido’s star players are Cooper Ness and Kevin Dunn. “Ness and Dunn can score from anywhere in the pool,” Lamont said.
Escondido chose to utilize Dunn on defense against Pril, which held Pril to only one first-half goal against the Cougars.
“That was a good matchup to watch,” Lamont said. “Defensively that was working for them.”
The strategy was not without drawbacks, as Dunn had only two first-half goals. “It also kept Kevin Dunn from scoring,” Lamont said.
Pril was one of five Fallbrook players who scored a goal apiece in the first half. “I had other people step it up,” Lamont said.
Zack Meyer scored Fallbrook’s first goal on a man-up situation, Luke Jones scored Fallbrook’s second goal on a perimeter shot, and Pril’s only first-half goal came with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Fallbrook led 3-2 after the end of the first period, but Escondido had that same scoring advantage in the second quarter.
“We were a little flat in the second quarter,” Lamont said.
Kort Heyneman and Alec Carpenter scored Fallbrook’s second-period goals, while Ness had two of Escondido’s three goals in the period.
Lamont moved Pril to the post for the second half, and Pril added six goals in the third and fourth quarters.
Pril scored the go-ahead goal early in the third quarter, added a man-up goal later in that period, and also drew a third-period penalty shot following a breakaway.
Fallbrook had a 9-6 lead after three periods before sealing the game in the fourth quarter. “It all came together for us,” Lamont said.
Jones led the Warriors with five steals against Escondido while Kevin Reichel added three steals. Fallbrook goalie Bill Shuster made 13 saves against the Cougars.
Heyneman led the Warriors with two assists against Escondido. “He was a good playmaker in the Escondido game passing the ball out from set,” Lamont said.
Escondido’s loss put Torrey Pines into second place in the league standings.
“We knew that they had the next best record in the league and they were going to come gunning for us,” Lamont said of the Falcons.
Fallbrook led Torrey Pines 5-3 at the end of the first quarter with Denis Vaisberg scoring all three of the Falcons’ goals.
Vaisberg also scored twice in the second quarter and three times in the third period to end up with eight goals for the game. “We shut him down in the fourth,” Lamont said.
Carpenter scored twice for Fallbrook in the first period with Meyer, Pril, and Reichel each scoring once.
“That was the kind of game we wanted to play, where multiple people were scoring,” Lamont said. Fallbrook led 7-5 at halftime. Pril scored twice in the second quarter. His second goal was his 201st of the season, tying the all-time CIF San Diego Section record set in 2000 by Valhalla’s Brett Ormsby.
Pril scored his 202nd goal of the season 15 seconds into the third period. “It was quite a moment,” Lamont said.
Pril’s highest single-game totals were 11 goals, which he has done twice in 2009. One of those 11-goal games was against La Jolla and the other was against Great Oak.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment when you look back,” Lamont said. “It wasn’t like these were weaker teams where he was just pouring in goals.”
Lamont noted that Pril’s record was in part due to the play of his teammates.
“He had a bunch of guys behind him,” Lamont said. “He had an amazing cast of supporting people around him.”
In 2008 Pril scored 187 goals, which at the time ranked as the CIF San Diego Section’s second-highest all-time total behind Ormsby’s record.
Torrey Pines was able to overcome its deficit, and the third period ended with the score tied at nine goals apiece. “They outplayed us in the third,” Lamont said.
The game was tied at 11-11 with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter before Fallbrook scored three of the game’s final four goals.
Carpenter, Jones, Meyer, Pril, and Reichel each had one goal in the fourth period. Pril ended the game with six goals, or 204 for the season.
Reichel had ten steals against the Falcons, bringing his season total to 124.
Shuster followed his performance against Escondido with seven saves in the match against Torrey Pines.
“Those were two of his best games of the season,” Lamont said.
In the first round of league play, Fallbrook took a 15-13 road win against Torrey Pines October 13.
“To do it against Torrey Pines made the accomplishment that much more significant,” Lamont said of clinching the league title.