By Rick Assad
Before hopping into the pool on an afternoon that saw the heat register 112 degrees Fahrenheit, the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team had beaten South Pasadena 7-1, La Canada 14-5 but then lost to Flintridge Prep 15-12.
All three are good teams for sure but the opponent on Wednesday is a significantly better team and it showed early and often as visiting Crespi took out the Bears 24-9 in a nonleague match before a full house.
Ryan Nevsky paced the Celts with a match-best 13 goals while Ned Ginoti tallied eight goals.
The Bears were led by senior Harrison Zekowski with six goals while senior Ryan Rolando, sophomore Dean Yuzna and sophomore Harrison Siegel each added one tally.
“We have a young team this year. Half of our starters are sophomores,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “We have a few returning seniors, one of them is out today. Another starter is out with a lat injury. It’s just a young team. Crespi has a lot of club and premiere players. They’re good. It’s a learning opportunity.”
Cook went on: “We’re not expecting them to blow these guys out,” he said. “There’s a bunch we can take from this.”
The Celts marched ahead 9-3 after the first period and pulled in front 14-5 at halftime.
Ginoti came out and scored the first two goals of the match with 6:41 left and 5:47 on the clock. The first was a 12-foot laser and the second was a nine-footer.
Nevsky made it 3-0 and came with 5:13 remaining on a seven-footer. Ginoti’s eight-footer with 4:56 left increased the margin to 4-0.
Siegel then knocked in a goal from five feet and 4:42 left that cut the Crespi lead to 4-1.
Crespi scored five of the next seven tallies that included Ginoti’s six-footer with 3:59 left for a 5-1 edge.
Nevsky’s nine-foot toss with 1:59 remaining extended the Celts’ lead to 8-1 and a six-footer with 42 seconds on the ticker made it 9-2.
Logan Alitiri’s five-footer with 3:38 showing handed the Celts a 6-1 cushion and Christian Dudley’s six-footer and 2:27 left increased Crespi’s advantage to 7-1.
Zekowski added an eight-foot bullet with 1:18 showing that trimmed the lead to 8-2 and added a five-footer with 12 seconds that sliced the cushion to six goals.
The visitors outscored the hosts 5-2 in the second period as Nevsky knocked in three goals and Ginoti tacked on two.
Nevsky’s goals came with 4:58 left in the period and was a nine-foot laser that made it 10-3. Nevsky then tossed in another nine-footer with 2:46 left for a 12-3 cushion.
A five-meter penalty shot from Nevsky with 1:01 on the ticker made it 14-4.
Ginoti’s 14-footer with 3:48 left on the clock handed the Celts a 11-3 advantage and a six-footer from Ginoti pushed Crespi’s margin to 13-3.
Zekowski’s six-footer made it 13-4 with 1:59 left before halftime and Zekowski’s five-meter penalty throw with 46 seconds remaining trimmed the lead to 14-5.
Crespi (2-1) outscored Burroughs 7-2 in the third period and led 21-7 after three quarters.
Zekowski scored both goals for Burroughs (2-2) in the third quarter and they came with 1:32 left on a five-footer and another five-footer with 1:04 showing.
Nevsky contributed four goals and Ginoti added one as did Luke Le Haye for the Celts in the third stanza.
The fourth quarter saw Crespi tally three goals that included a pair from Nevsky and one from Ginoti.
The Bears connected on two goals, and they were contributed by Rolando with 6:38 remaining that made it 22-8 and from Yuzna with 3:09 left as Burroughs came within 15 points.