Less than a week ago, the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team didn’t figure to be a part of the playoff picture.
The Bears finished fifth in the Pacific League, missing the automatic league cut by one spot. Then the Bears learned they would be a link to the postseason after cross-town rival Burbank forfeited its season after some of its players who transferred to the school were deemed ineligible. As a result, Burbank, which had originally won the league title, missed the playoffs and Burroughs moved up a spot.
Burroughs’ postseason run was cut short early, as it suffered a 14-8 road defeat against Flintridge Prep on Tuesday in a CIF Southern Section Division III first-round contest at Pasadena Poly High.
Burroughs (11-15) saw Flintridge Prep (20-8) break open a close game with four unanswered goals in the first quarter. That forced the Bears, who took fourth in league, to play catch up the remainder of the match.
“It was good to be in the playoffs and it’s something we can learn from with the six sophomores who will be back next year,” said Burroughs coach Jacob Cook, who led the program to a Division V title in 2016. “We had a mix of experience with our six seniors and inexperience with the six sophomores. It will help us moving ahead.
“We were feeling good after the first quarter, but Flintridge Prep has some real good players and we had a tough time getting around their defenders. It just presented some tough matchups for our guys.”
The Wolves, who took second in the Prep League, built a 5-2 lead after the first quarter. Flintridge Prep held a 7-2 advantage at halftime.
Flintridge Prep received a match-high seven goals from Noah Corral, including four straight in the first quarter to give the Wolves a 6-2 lead.
Harrison Siegel brought Burroughs to within 4-2 on a goal with 2:03 remaining in the first quarter. The Bears could get no closer the rest of the 28-minute contest.
“We knew what we had to do coming into the game and we we weren’t able to do it,” said Siegel, a sophomore who collected three goals. “We didn’t lock them down on defense like we should have and it made it that much tougher the rest of the way.
“It was the first playoff match for most of us. We were able to get used to the environment. It will definitely help the guys returning next year.”
Burroughs also received three goals from Harrison Zekowski and two from Logan Turla.
Henry Brookbanks added three goals for Flintridge Prep.