Boys Water Polo: Naperville North dominates in opening round
Updated: May 9, 2012 7:18PM
Naperville North’s boys water polo team finds itself in unfamiliar territory, entering the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Metea Valley Sectional.
The Huskies passed their first test of the postseason Wednesday by taking care of St. Charles North in the sectional quarterfinals, 20-10. They move on to face No. 4 seed Neuqua Valley in the semifinals Friday at 4:30 p.m.
“It’s something different for us,” Naperville North coach John Blumthal said. “We haven’t been the No. 1 seed. We have a young team, so I don’t think they know how to handle the adversity, truthfully. I don’t know how the kids feel. I know as coaches, we were a little bit anxious.”
The Huskies (28-3) started out a little slow against the North Stars (9-22), who had to win a play-in game against Hinsdale South just to reach the quarterfinals. The lead stood at 3-2 with 2:10 left in the first quarter when the Huskies flipped the switch.
An 8-0 run, featuring four of Eric Curia’s eight goals in the game, pushed the lead to 11-3 and the Huskies went into the half with a 12-3 lead.
But St. Charles North didn’t stop fighting. Behind senior Joey Chokran, who scored seven goals in the loss, the North Stars cut the lead to 15-9 before the Huskies went on a 5-0 run to put the game away for good.
“I challenged them at the half,” St. Charles North coach Chris Cloy said. “No matter what happens in life, you get two choices. You can sit in the corner like a coward or you can fight like a lion. They chose to come out fighting. That was awesome to see. I’m very happy with how they played.”
The Huskies survived their first foray as a No. 1 seed for a night, and are looking forward to the rest of their postseason run.
“All of us worked really hard for this postseason,” Curia said. “I can’t wait for the rest of it. We’re excited to show what we can do. Naperville Central has been winning this tournament since 2008. Now that we’re No. 1, we want to try to upset that. Our goal is to make it to state.”