Water polo teams near playoff berths

By: Nick PecoraroTelegraph Correspondent
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There is one week left in the regular season and both the boys’ and girls’ water polo teams have the postseason in mind at Oak Ridge High School.

Last week the boys’ team began its week with a tough loss against St. Mary’s, 13-12 and rebounded with a win at Franklin on Wednesday. They played in five more games over the weekend at the DeLong Tournament at Tokay High. Oak Ridge had a perfect Friday with three wins over Modesto (15-1), Reno (7-6) and Turlock (10-2). A 7-5 loss to Lodi on Saturday prevented the Trojans from taking the tournament and they settled for third place with a 7-4 victory over Tokay.

“I was really pleased with our team play. We seem to be gelling really nicely and I’d put our team defense up against anybody,” said boys’ coach Don McCormick.

A win over Ponderosa in the league finale on Wednesday would give Oak Ridge sole possession of second place and a spot in the postseason, which begins Nov. 2. A loss would likely result in a three-way tie with Pondo and Jesuit, McCormick said.

“I feel like we’re in the driver seat,” he said. “We know the Pondo team pretty well. They’re really well coached. We’ll have to play our best to beat them because they’re going to throw everything at us.”

Don’s brother Tim McCormick’s girls’ team has also had a busy week. On Monday, the Lady Trojans lost to Rio Americano, 16-2 and lost again to St. Mary’s on Tuesday, 4-1 before answering back with a Wednesday win against Franklin, 10-3. Losses to McClatchy (9-6) and Leland of San Jose (18-2) at the Davis tournament concluded the week and the regular season for the Lady Trojans.

McCormick said that the 3-2 league record should be good enough for a three-seed in the postseason.

“I’m pretty happy with a third place seed. We’ll probably get Johansen or St. Mary’s in the first round. These games are winnable,” said McCormick. “We’re capable of playing better. We haven’t played our best game yet. The girls are excited and a little nervous but they’re coming along. We haven’t gotten over the hump but we understand that we could maybe get past one or two rounds in the playoffs.”