Turlock High varsity water polo head coach Colin Wenstrand said one of his team’s goals this year was to win the league title. They did that after Monday’s wild 11-10 win over Pitman High on senior night and in the regular season finale.
“Hats off to Pitman, (we) played them twice this year and controlled both games from beginning to end, so for them to come out and bring their ‘A’ game I am so happy to see that,” said Wenstrand. “Obviously it is great to win, but I am so very proud of those boys. I coached that senior class, I worked with them when they were freshmen and sophomores. Just so exciting to see them play at such a high level, they were on fire tonight.”
The win also clinched the second straight perfect season for the Bulldogs in the Central California Athletic League. Over the last two years in the CCAL, they are 20-0.
Pitman finishes 7-3 in league play.
The crosstown game was hands down the closest game for Turlock all season long and it was something Pitman expected said head coach Justin Jones.
“This is exactly what we had hoped for to be in this position. In the end, Turlock came out with a great game; they really did,” said Jones. “Early on we did control their offense and it was great when we got up early. They came back because they are Turlock, they always fight back no matter what. I’m just really proud of my team, I know a lot of them are taking a one-goal game like this pretty hard, but I am happy with it.”
Following Monday’s game, Turlock has won 41 contests while dropping 12 over the last two seasons.
At the end of the first, Pitman led 4-2 after a crazy opening quarter where they were able to fend off Turlock’s attack.
Turlock outscored Pitman in the second, 5-2, which essentially gave them a 7-6 lead at halftime.
By halftime, Turlock’s Jackson Thomas had notched a
hat-trick, scoring three of the first seven goals.
Following the third quarter, Turlock maintained the one-goal lead after a 2-2 split saw them lead, 9-8.
Drew Folly notched his hat-trick for Turlock in the fourth.
Turlock extended their lead to 11-8 in the fourth with 1:52, before Pitman decided to sneak their way back in as they rallied with consecutive unanswered goals.
With under 80 seconds remaining, Pitman’s Joe Carlson made it 11-9, then with 37 seconds left, Sean Bernard cut the lead to one and then a timeout was called by Turlock.
This is where things started to get dramatic.
Turlock goalkeeper Matt Reis contained possession until the shot clock expired and then he heaved it into the corner where then a Pride timeout was called with six seconds remaining in the match, building the intensity of the game.
From there, Pitman’s attack was on, but Turlock triple teamed the first person they passed it to near the inside and the clock expired.
Turlock closes out the regular season with a 23-4 overall record.
For the latest updates on the playoff brackets visit cifsjs.org.