By Rick Assad
When it comes to putting the ball into the back of the net for the Burroughs High girls’ water polo team, Nancy Baylor, Clarisa Robles and Makenna Palamara stand out.
In a Pacific League contest on Wednesday afternoon, the trio were on the mark, accounting for 14 goals and helped propel the Bears to a 16-8 victory over visiting Crescenta Valley.
Baylor was spectacular as she scored in each quarter and finished with a match-best six tallies.
Robles also found the net in every frame and delivered four goals and Palamara scored three of her four tallies in the second half when Burroughs (7-6 overall and 2-0 in league) outscored the Falcons 10-4.
“Clarisa and Nancy are at the top, but all of our girls can score. That’s the good thing. We have pretty balanced scoring,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said of his team.
The Falcons looked sharp early on, but then the Bears seized control and never let up.
“Both teams were figuring it out. I feel like we get better as we go throughout the game, and I think it showed today,” Cook said.
Crescenta Valley actually scored first when junior Albany Lansang had an 18-foot rainbow with 6:29 left.
The Bears evened it at 1-1 on an eight-foot backhander by Palamara with 3:46 left in the opening period.
The Falcons moved ahead 2-1 on a 12-foot toss from junior Sydney Lansang 26 seconds later.
Burroughs capped off the seven-minute quarter with goals from Robles on a nine-footer as 1:19 remained and leveled it at 2-2, followed by Baylor’s 10-foot throw with 13 seconds on the clock for a 3-2 edge.
“I really think it’s just starting off the first quarter with the right mentality. I think we go in with low energy. I’m not sure why,” said Baylor of the somewhat slow start. “Once we start getting together and working together, we pick up the pace and we start clicking and things just happen.”
The second quarter commenced in grand style as Baylor took a nifty pass from Robles and scored to make it 4-2 on a 10-foot backhander as 4:37 remained.
“It’s all of us at the same time. We all have to contribute to what we’re doing in the pool and we’re all pretty good at that,” Robles said. “We’re all pretty good at assisting each other and getting each other hyped up for the game and ready and it all depends on our warmup.”
When Robles found the back of the net from eight feet and 3:49 left, the Bears’ lead swelled to 5-2.
The Falcons trimmed the cushion to 5-3 on a 12-footer from senior A.J. Troop as 2:33 remained before halftime.
The Bears took a 6-3 lead when Baylor scored on a rebound from six feet as 1:41 was left.
Crescenta Valley (8-8 and 2-1 in league) cut the advantage to 6-4 when senior Makayla Graham launched a 12-foot shot with 1:13 on the ticker.
Palamara scored a pair of goals in the third quarter, and they came with 6:39 left on a seven-footer for a 7-4 lead.
Palamara added a nine-footer with 49 seconds remaining for an 11-6 advantage.
Baylor’s eight-footer with 5:43 left extended the lead to 8-5 and Robles contributed a 10-foot throw with 2:10 left that made it 9-6.
When Isabella Medina scored on a 12-foot looper and 1:32 left, the Bears’ lead became 10-6.
For the Falcons, Albany Lansang located the net from 16 feet with 5:52 left in the third period as the visitors pulled within 7-5.
Senior Kyra Freeman’s eight-footer shaved Burroughs’ lead to 8-6 as 3:10 remained.
Baylor knocked in two goals in the fourth period as the Bears led 13-7 on a nine-footer with 5:47 left and an eight-footer with 3:32 on the clock for a 14-8 margin.
Kelly Long’s 10-footer with 6:42 on the clock handed the Bears a 12-7 lead and when Robles located the back of the cage on a five-footer, the margin became 15-8 as 1:30 remained on the scoreboard.
Twenty-six seconds later the score became an eight-point differential as Palamara scored from five feet.
The only goal the Falcons mustered in the fourth quarter was provided by senior Gabby Young on a 12-footer as 4:42 remained and trimmed Burroughs’ lead to 13-8.