Prep Water Polo: Cougars come alive in second half

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Gilroy's Richie Bermea gets up to block a shot by Christopher's Jesse Calderon during their game Oct. 7 game.

GILROY—It was déjà vu for Gilroy and Christopher as they met for the second and final time this season.
The Mustangs were dominant in the first period and took the lead, but the Cougars came alive in the second half—just as they did in the teams’ previous meeting—to win 9-3 at home Tuesday.
“I don’t want to make excuses for them, but half of our team is sick and we just didn’t play very well,” Gilroy coach Fred Latimore said. “We didn’t take advantage of 6 on 5 opportunities. The officiating wasn’t great, they let the game get out of control a little bit.”
Things were certainly heated in the pool as Gilroy attempted to hold off an aggressive Cougar offense. Christopher fired four shots at Gilroy’s Richie Berma to start the second half in an attempt to break a 2-2 tie. Zach Gallardo made a perfect pass to Jesse Calderon who was waiting in front of the net and easily scored. The goal gave the Cougars their first lead of the game, 3-2, from which they never looked back.
Calderon led his team with three goals on four attempts.
“I was just really excited,” he said. “I’ve just had trouble with my shots in the past and I’m getting better. It makes me happy.”
Five different Cougars scored in the game. Max Deliz scored twice, including one that was basically an empty netter as Berma swam out to defend, leaving the goal open for Deliz to strike.
Noah Vasquez, Zac Syth and Gallardo each added a goal for Christopher.
The second half was a drastic change from the first, where the Cougars appeared sluggish. Calderon said his team was feeling the effects of playing four games Friday and Saturday at the Sobrato Tournament which followed a game Thursday against Harbor.
“The ball was distributed well, but we swam like we just woke up,” CHS coach Paul Wells said. “We were lethargic, just pssft. There was nothing going on. It wasn’t a pretty win, but it was a win.”
Gilroy had its chances, putting up 18 shots on goal against Christopher, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Brendan Reimer scored all three of the Mustangs’ goals, including a powerful one to the far side of the net which cut Christopher’s lead to 6-3 with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter.
“He’s a senior and our captain and we look to him to do those things every game,” Latimore said. “He’s always there for us and he’s going to be sadly missed next year.”
Gilroy will host Stevenson at 4 p.m. Thursday, while Christopher will get some much needed rest before taking on Palma at 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at Hartnell.

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