Hoover High’s boys’ water polo team is deep, talented and experienced and these factors presented major problems for visiting Burroughs on Tuesday afternoon in a Pacific League match.
The Tornadoes started off strong and continued in this direction until the fourth quarter when they let up on the gas pedal, but still routed the Indians 20-9 behind a match-high seven goals from senior David Ashkharian and four tallies from junior Jordan Corpuz.
The Indians did have some highlights including a close-range, back-handed goal by junior Vahagn Sahakyan with 2:09 left in the opening quarter that trimmed Hoover’s lead to 5-1.
When freshman Xavier Turla’s blast from eight feet dented the back of the net with 49.6 seconds left in the initial period, Hoover’s advantage was reduced to 7-2.
Sahakyan’s eight-footer with 1:51 on the clock in the second period allowed the Indians (9-10 and 1-3 in league) to crawl within 16-3 and a five-foot bullet with 24.3 seconds on the ticker from senior Chase Legoretta made it 17-4 at halftime.
“It’s just enduring. You’ve gotta play four quarters and correct their mistakes. They fought their hardest and didn’t give up,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “Part of it’s inexperience, but there are some mistakes that can be corrected.”
Senior Nathan Gault-Crabb’s point-blank goal with 6:47 on the clock in the third period shaved the edge to 17-5 and a tally by junior Tobey Ho with one second left in the third frame made it 20-6.
Legoretta had a goal from eight feet with 5:07 left in the fourth that enabled the Indians to come within 20-7 and Legoretta added a five-footer with 4:34 on the clock as the Indians drew within 20-8.
When Sahakyan scored from six feet and 1:14 left in the match, Burroughs cut the lead to 20-9.
Ashkharian’s four first-quarter goals and a pair from Corpuz helped Hoover build an 8-2 lead after the first period.
An even bigger nine-goal effort in the second period followed as six players scored for Hoover (15-7 and 6-0 in league) with Ashkarian, senior Hakop Ansuryan and junior Hayk Nazaryan each tallying two.
Hoover coach Kevin Witt called off the dogs in the second half as Ashkharian, Corpuz and senior Armando Honarchian each scored one goal in the third period.
The Tornadoes failed to score in the fourth quarter with many of the starters out of the contest.