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Oak Ridge rolls over Bruins in water polo

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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In the battle between Oak Ridge and Ponderosa’s water polo teams in the Community Pool in El Dorado Hills, Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys and girls’ teams swept the Bruins in a crucial matchup that guaranteed the Trojans a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. In front of an enthusiastic crowd with just as many, if not more, Bruin fans than Trojan supporters, the varsity boys started the day with an exciting, back-and-forth first three periods which saw six ties. The Trojans, however, pulled away in the fourth period to win going away, 16-8. The game Bruins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before the Trojans tied the score with goals from Garrison Yeandle and Cameron Bullock. That brought about the first of six ties at two, three, four, five, six and seven. Ponderosa went up 3-2 before a goal by Austin Turville evened the score. Josh Verner gave the Trojans their first lead, but Ponderosa quickly tied the game at four. The Bruins then went up 5-4 before Bryan Bare knotted the game at five at the end of the first half. Yeandle opened the second half with a goal that Ponderosa quickly equaled and Jeremy Levine put the Trojans 7-6 before the Bruins tied the score for a final time, 7-7. Bryan Cole scored the next two goals to give the Trojans their first two-goal lead and Oak Ridge led 9-7 after three periods. In the fourth, it was all Oak Ridge, as the Trojans outscored the Bruins 7-1 with goals from Trevor Dong and one each from Yeandle, Bare, Cole, Verner and Jason Stein. Nine Trojans scored in the game with Yeandle and Cole leading the way with three goals apiece. Verner, Bare and Dong each scored twice. Oak Ridge keeper Jeremy Chambliss turned in a solid performance; particularly in the second half when he allowed only three goals after the Bruins put five past him in the first half. “I felt with our bench, once we got into the later quarters, we would take off and out-swim them and I think that’s what you saw today,” Oak Ridge coach Don McCormick said. “Unfortunately, only three teams are going to make the playoffs, because I think Ponderosa deserves to be in there too. Jeremy had a good game and Bryan Bare played well and Jeremy Levine really sparked us off the bench.” On the girls’ side, after two previous one-goal matches with the Bruins, Oak Ridge dominated this time around, winning easily 16-6. “I was happy with our performance,” Oak Ridge coach Tim McCormick said. “Annie (Harriman) and Kirsten (Banks-Gwartney) really stepped up when we needed them because they (Ponderosa) really slumped on Amanda (Jones). Amanda played a fabulous second half and everyone got into the game and contributed.” Like the boys, the win guaranteed the Lady Trojans a spot in the section playoffs. Jones led the way with seven goals, while Harriman and Banks-Gwartney each scored three. Ashley Ullrich, Stefanie Polivka and Emily Uthoff each scored one goal.