After winning a ninth straight City Section title, the Palisades High boys water polo team captured the CIF SoCal Regional Division III championship on November 20 at Carpinteria, defeating the home team and No. 1 seed, 9-5.
The Noozhawk website in Santa Barbara reported: “It was a packed house for Carpinteria at the pool on Saturday, as hundreds of spectators cheered on the team throughout.”
Carpinteria, which was 26-4 this season, had defeated Palisades 13-12 in a tournament on September 9. This time the Dolphins came out firing.
PaliHi’s goalkeeper, junior John Possman, made 13 saves, including a penalty shot.
Senior and co-captain Connor Guy scored the first goal at the 6:01 mark. That was followed by two other goals and a penalty shot by senior co-captain Eion Fox.
The Dolphins outscored the Warriors 2-0 in the second quarter and were up 6-1 at halftime. They added two goals in the third, and Guy scored the final goal in the last minute of play.
Palisades was led in scoring by Guy’s four goals, followed by Eion Fox with three. Gavin Levy and Sami Raskin each had one goal.
Head coach Adam Blakis praised his players. “Eion Fox and Connor Guy matured throughout the season and worked at improving their game – and ended up dominating in our final match against Carpinteria.”
Overall, the team was 27-4 this season and 9-0 in the Western/Marine League.
“John Possman, our goalie, John Possman was consistently solid throughout the season. Without him we definitely would have lost a few more games,” Blakis said.
Earlier this month, the Dolphins beat Cleveland 22-7 in the City Section Division 1 finals, after beating Robert F. Kennedy Community (19-4), El Camino Real (18-5) and Eagle Rock (16-8).
At the beginning of the season, Blakis was concerned. “We had a lot of work to do. We didn’t have depth,” he said. “And it took us most of the season to coalesce.”
Blakis will graduate only three starters this year, Fox, Guy and Nathan Meija, which bodes well for next year’s team.