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Turlock polo squads grab dominant first round wins
turlock water polo
Cohen Harris (pictured here at the DeLong Tournament earlier in the season) finished with seven goals against River City High to lead all scorers in the Bulldogs’ Division I round one playoff game.

The Turlock High boys and girls water polo teams both hosted home playoff matches on Tuesday night, and each of them won in incredibly dominant fashion to advance in their respective CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I brackets. Coincidentally in both matches, the Bulldogs faced off with the Raiders of River City High (Sacramento).

The girls team got things started at the Turlock High aquatics center. Coming into the match, the No. 5 ranked Bulldogs were the heavy favorites over the No. 12 ranked Raiders. Almost immediately, it became very clear why that was the case.

In the first quarter, Turlock’s Abby Braley came out of the gates firing on all cylinders with three goals. And by the time the horn sounded for halftime, the Bulldogs found themselves in a comfortable 10-0 lead. After the Raiders were able to get on the board with a goal early in the third quarter, the Bulldogs rebounded with similar offensive domination from Lia Romeo, who scored five second half goals, giving her six by the end of the night,

After it was all said and done, the Bulldogs swam away with a 20-2 win. Romeo’s six goals led all scorers while Kaylee Amarant pitched in with five goals of her own.

The landslide win secured the Lady Bulldogs with a date with the No. 4 ranked Lodi High Flames, who also won on Tuesday over No. 13 Monterey Trail by a score of 13-5.

Next up was the boys squad, with Turlock coming into the match ranked No. 6 in their bracket and River City ranked No. 11. And while the Raiders found some early success, it was more of the same as the girls matchup.

In the opening quarter, the Bulldogs gave up four goals, but the tables quickly turned with help from Luke Thomas and Sam Stempson, who each had three goals in the first quarter. It wouldn’t be long until their teammates would follow suit in the scoring frenzy, finishing the quarter strong to head to the second with a 10-4 lead.

“We had to make a few adjustments early, but after giving up four in the first, we held them to a goal a quarter the rest of the way,” said Bulldogs head coach Nic Serratos. “Both goalies (Logan Ladd and Max McFarlane) played really well.”

In the second quarter, it was the Cohen Harris show as he fired in three goals. Harris would eventually finish with seven goals to lead all scorers. Stempson also continued to find the back of the net as he finished right behind Harris with six goals.

After four quarters were in the books, it went down as a 26-7 victory for the Bulldogs.

“It was nice to see our seniors step up in the playoffs and lead the offensive side of the ball,” Serratos said. “We had big contributions from our sophomore and junior classes on the defensive end. All in all, great team effort to start playoffs off with a win and [I’m] looking forward to see how deep of a run we can make this year.”

The win sends the boys to the quarterfinals, where they await the winner of today’s match between No. 3 Rocklin and No. 14 Franklin.