PaliHi Boys Water Polo Team
Wins Regional Championship
The Palisades High boys water polo team won the CIF SoCal Division III regional tournament on November 17 by beating California of Whittier, 12-5, at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach.
“It was amazing,” head coach Adam Blakis said.
Last year, when the Southern California regionals debuted, PaliHi went up against one of the best teams, in the nation, Santa Ana Mater Dei, and lost 14-4 in Division I (there were two divisions last year).
This year the Dolphins were second-seeded in Division III after winning their seventh straight City Section title, defeating Birmingham 13-5 on November 8.
In the opening round of the playoffs, Pali beat seventh-seeded Cathedral, 15-5, and the eliminated Valley View in the semifinals, 13-10.
In the regional championship game, sophomore goalie Dmitry Gorozhankin made 10 saves on 15 shots. Senior and team captain Theo Trask had eight steals, one goal and one assist. A leading defender, Trask had 123 steals this season.
Senior Matt Garcia and junior Marc Pryor each scored a goal, and seniors Zach Wunder, Luis Urias and junior Maximo Speiser scored two goals apiece, while junior Oliver Grant scored three.
Under Blakis and assistant coach Kirk Lazaruk, the Dolphins were 30-4 overall and 8-0 in Western League action.
Due to air quality because of the fires, the NorCal Regional Championships were cancelled.