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Bulldogs beat league foes en route to tournament title

POSTED September 20, 2011 9:31 p.m.

For the Turlock High boys water polo team, one of the benefits of winning last weekend’s Central Cal Tournament is that the Bulldogs got a glimpse of what’s ahead in the Central California Conference.

What the Bulldogs noticed was they’re well ahead of their competition, as they captured back-to-back tournament titles on Saturday after handing Merced High a 14-4 thumping in the championship match but only after they convincingly marched past Atwater High 14-8 in the semifinals.

This is good news, of course, seeing that the Bulldogs are chasing another league title under longtime coach Steve Feaver, who might be in his final season as the head coach. Though his team went 5-0 in the Central Cal Tournament at the facility named in his honor, Feaver was quick to note that he wasn’t planning on celebrating another CCC championship just yet.

“We had a good tournament,” said Feaver, whose 2010 team won the school’s 14th league title with a 10-0 record, “but in high school sports, there are always variables. Therefore, we need to be at our best for every opponent we face this season, including the teams we beat at the tournament.”

Central Cal began Friday, and the Bulldogs completed the day with wins over Benicia High, Antelope High and Modesto’s Central Catholic High, with the latter team submitting to a forfeit after not showing up. The two actual wins resulted in a combined score of 24-7 for the Bulldogs, who got most of their scoring highlights from senior Morley Baker to go along with an overall dominant performance from senior goalie Neil Wraske.

For their efforts, Baker, Wraske and Antovan Davtians all landed spots on the all-tournament team — with Baker being named the MVP.

“I liked the way we played defense,” Feaver said. “Neil and Antovan led us on that end of the pool, and Morley Baker was very good at both ends and in transition. Joel Geiger and Patrick O’Connor made nice contributions at the offensive end.”

The Bulldogs (9-2 overall, 1-0 CCC) will return to action with Thursday’s conference home opener against Buhach Colony High at 3 p.m., with the varsity matches following the junior varsity squads.

The Turlock girls team will also look for another win against Buhach Colony. The Sonja Raynes-coached Bulldogs are coming off a 13-5 win over Golden Valley High in last Thursday’s league opener, thanks to Kristine Groteguth’s five goals and Abbey Johnson’s six goalie saves (in just three periods).

 

Pitman boys already making splash

 

To being its 2011 campaign, the Pitman High boys water polo team came away with an easy 16-3 win over Atwater last Thursday at the Pitman pool. Three Pride players scored at least three goals, with Beau Powell finishing with a match-high six followed by Tyler Jamieson’s five and Brach Malek’s three.

Also, Pitman’s Zach Hazelwood collected seven blocks and four steals.

The Pride will play at Golden Valley High on Thursday, with the first match set for 3 p.m.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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