Boys Water Polo: Naperville Central puts away Waubonsie ValleyWaubonsie Valley's Mike McWhirter shoots a goal against Naperville Central at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Ill., on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
After the first period it looked as though the Naperville Central at Waubonsie Valley boys water polo game on Tuesday was going to be a defensive battle.
The teams were tied at 1-1. But then the Redhawks started to apply the defensive pressure that led to transition goals, and they went on to defeat the Warriors in what turned out to be a high scoring game, 16-11.
“Our main goal this year is to try to play physical and tire the other team out in the second half,” said Matt Reasons, who led the Redhawks with a game-high seven goals, three in the fourth quarter when Naperville Central wrapped things up. “Tonight we looked for the open man a lot. My job is to play the point and deliver the ball to the hole set, but tonight they were sloughing off me. So I just took the open shot.”
The Redhawks (6-4) covered the passing lanes in the second period and came up with six steals that fueled their transition game and took them to halftime in front 6-5.
“We were a little rusty in the first period and we got into some foul trouble,” said Naperville Central coach Bill Salentine. “But we had a talk after the first quarter and came out in the second with a little more intensity. We played a little smarter and our positioning led to some of those takeaways.”
“Naperville Central has always been good on their counter-attacks,” said Waubonsie Valley coach Matt Niemeier. “We got sloppy and forced some passes, trying to create things that weren’t there yet. We weren’t taking time to develop anything.”
The Redhawks broke fast in the third quarter scoring three times in just over 90 seconds on a pair of goals by T.J. Johnson and one by Dennis Herron, who finished with five goals on the night.
“I liked our perimeter passing tonight,” said Salentine. “And that was good to see because we’ve had some problems with that in recent games.”
Mike McWhirter with six goals and Joey Poletto with five accounted for all the scoring for Waubonsie Valley (2-6).
A score by Poletto with a little over a minute to go in the third quarter got the Warriors to within two goals, which was as close as they would get for the rest of the evening.
“We’ve been working on our defense the past few days,” said Niemeier. “I was ecstatic with the way we played in the first quarter, but not with anything after that. It was the third straight game we gave up double-digit scores. We should be able to win with 11 goals, but we’re just so inconsistent—one good period, one bad period.”